Tyler Lewington had a night to remember as he recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick in just his second NHL game in a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.
Here are four reasons the Caps won.
A Gordie Howe hat trick
It was a hell of a night for Lewington who got his first NHL point, his first NHL goal and his first NHL fight all in the same game. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s a Gordie Howe hat trick. This is just the second NHL game of Lewington’s career.
Lewington recorded a secondary assist on the game’s first goal as he chipped the puck up to Tom Wilson to break out of the defensive zone and the puck eventually ended up in the back of the net. His goal came later in the first as Nicklas Backstrom fed him a drop back pass at the blue line. The defense gave him a lane, he took it to the high slot and wristed it past goalie Marcus Hogberg. Finally in the second period he threw down the gloves with Zack Smith to complete the hat trick with the fight.
Lewington got a goal in his second NHL game. It took 78 games for Madison Bowey, but he finally recorded his first on Saturday.
Wilson dumped the puck into the offensive zone, beat all the Senators to the puck, took it behind the net and backhanded a pass back to the blue line to a wide-open Bowey. Bowey crept up a bit, carefully wound up and fired the puck into the net.
This marks the first time two Caps have gotten their first NHL goals in the same game since Oct. 10, 2005 when Steven Eminger and Petr Sykora both scored against the New York Rangers. Per Mike Vogel, it is also the first time in franchise history and just the 19th time in NHL history that two defensemen from the same team scored their first NHL goals in the same game.
A sweet pass
The College Football Playoff began on Saturday, but the best pass of the night might have come from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Midway through the first period, Kuznetsov broke the puck into the offensive zone, skated left, and then fired a puck from near the wall right to the tape of Wilson on the back door.
The pass was aided by a horrendous misplay by defenseman Maxime Lajoie who seemed to be in good position to cut off the pass. Instead, he played as if he had no idea there was a player coming behind him and was caught out of position on the pass.
Copley started in Ottawa just one week ago and recorded his first NHL shutout. He may not have gotten a shutout in his return on Saturday, but he still turned in a strong outing with 31 saves.
Copley’s best save of the night came in the first period on Brady Tkachuk as Copley was forced to slide from his left all the way to the right to kick out the pad and deny the goal. The resulting rush led to Bowey’s goal.
Copley was strong when the Caps needed him to be and helped Washington hold on the for the one-goal win.
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