Coming into Monday's game, Carl Hagelin had not yet scored a goal this season. Playing against the Anaheim Ducks and one of the top goalies in the NHL in John Gibson, that was unlikely to change. No one really expected a goal out of Hagelin on Monday. No one, that is, except for Sergei Ovechkin.
In the second period, Hagelin forced Hampus Lindholm into a turnover in the defensive zone at the blue line just before he could clear the zone. With Washington back on the attack, Hagelin streaked to the net. Lars Eller passed to a trailing T.J. Oshie who passed it back to Eller. Eller fed Hagelin on the back door behind a helpless Gibson for the easy goal.
The relief was evident for Hagelin as he raised his arms to celebrate his first goal in game No. 26.
Sergei Ovechkin, however, saw it coming.
"Sergei Ovechkin actually called it yesterday," Hagelin said. "He got a bobblehead from me and he told Ovi that I was going to score and then Ovi told me this morning. You have to listen to the little guy.”
Sergei was almost right twice as Hagelin had a golden opportunity in the first period as well. With Gibson out of the crease, the puck came to Hagelin giving him an empty net, but he couldn't put it home.
"Yeah, I mean my stick was kind of stuck in [Josh] Manson's skates there," Hagelin said. "I couldn't really redirect it so it went straight back and I don't think that matters. It is just nice to get one.
He added, "Sometimes I’ve been a slow starter throughout my career and it is always nice when that first one goes in the net."
All it took was a little luck from Sergei.