Trevor van Riemsdyk’s took his turn on the Capitals’ scoring carousel Tuesday night, netting two goals in a 4-3 overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first multi-goal game of his nine-year NHL career.
All season long, the Capitals have looked to every corner of their roster for offense. Though no single player has emerged as the team’s No. 2 option behind Alex Ovechkin, they have had 18 different players record at least 10 points this season — tied with the Seattle Kraken for the most of any team in the league.
As was the case Tuesday, that has often meant relying on defensemen to carry some of the offensive load. Washington had gone 14 days without a goal by a blueliner, tied for their longest such drought of the 2022-23 campaign, but van Riemsdyk broke through with his fifth and sixth tallies of the season to set a new career high.
With 29 goals scored by defensemen this season, the Capitals are tied with the New Jersey Devils for the most such tallies in the NHL behind only the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes. The injured John Carlson leads the way with eight followed by Erik Gustafsson (seven), van Riemsdyk, Martin Fehervary (four) and Dmitry Orlov (three).
With Carlson out for the foreseeable future, the Capitals have looked to the rest of its defensemen to step up in the scoring department.
Gustafsson was in the midst of a seven-game point streak when Carlson went down and Orlov has scored a couple game-winners. On Tuesday, it was van Riemsdyk who provided the scoring both from the point and the low slot.
Aside from perhaps Gustafsson, whose career high is 17 goals with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2018-19, none of the Capitals’ remaining defensemen are suddenly going to emerge as a nightly threat to light the lamp for Washington. However, the group as a whole has proven to be capable of generating its fair share of offense.