Long after Dmitry Orlov’s sleight-of-hand goal had made it onto every hockey highlight reel, the Capitals were still talking about it on Sunday, even sparking a new nickname for the 24-year-old Russian defenseman.
“Now you see me, now you don’t,” said Caps defenseman Nate Schmidt, who joined in on Saturday night’s scoring spree in a 7-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. “That was awesome. I still can’t believe it. That and the celebrating. Arm pump, leg kick. Rarely seen, but highly effective.”
Thanks to the benefit of video replay, all of the Caps were able to see that Orlov did not pull a puck from his sleeve and place it on the ice to score his first NHL goal in 20 months. Instead, the saw him fake a shot to lose two defenders, juggle his own shortside rebound from his chest to his feet, then backpedal out of the corner to the front of the net for a goal.
“I saw him make that super nice move and he almost snuck it in the short side, said Orlov’s defense partner Taylor Chorney. “Honesty, after that, I had no idea. I was at the right point just waiting for the whistle because I thought it went out of play. Next thing I know, out of the corner of my eye I saw him pulling out of the corner and fire it in. You don’t see that too often.”
Caps left wing Jason Chimera was standing in the crease looking for a rebound on Orlov’s original shot when he realized the puck was on the other side of the ice and Orlov had it.
“The goalie (Calvin Pickard) motioned like he had it,” Chimera said. “I thought it was there or over the glass. And then ut of the corner of my eye I saw Orly sneaking around, so I kind of stayed there and hoped no one notice.”
No one did, until it was too late.
The Capitals who were on the bench at the time of Orlov’s goal didn’t know what happened until they saw the replay on the overhead scoreboard.
“I saw the iso cam of him wheeling out of the corner and I was like, ‘What’s he doing?’” Schmidt said. “And all of a sudden he throws it in the back of the net and everyone just blew up. I was just as surprised as anyone else.”
Karl Alzner, one of four Caps defensemen to find the back of the net Saturday night, was just as impressed with the move Orlov made to take the first shot as he was with his presence of mind to score.
“He came down with an unreal move, that was an intense fake, he really sold it,” Alzner said. “And backward crossovers from the corner to an open net, it was just funny. And our celebration was huge.”
As you might imagine, Orlov had his own unique description of his memorable goal.
“I jump in the rush, get the puck, make a move, try to shoot short side,” he recounted. “It not go in, but puck goes to my chest or pants, I don’t remember what it was, and everybody don’t see the puck, so I see everybody look on the other side and I took it right away and start moving. I thought maybe the referee make a whistle or the D will come up to me. And they stayed in the net so I just need to shoot.”
As for the celebration, Orlov smiled broadly.
“It just happen,” he said. “My emotion, I was so excited. Everybody say congrats. It was a funny goal. Everybody laugh and I laugh, too.”
Injury update: Defenseman Brooks Orpik, who has missed the past five games with a lower body injury, sat out practice again on Sunday and will not play in Monday night's game against the Edmonton Oilers. Right wing T.,J. Oshie sat out Sunday's practice with what Barry Trotz called maintenance issues. Oshie is expected to play Monday. Anrdre Burakovsksy, who was a healthy scratch on Saturday, took Oshie's spot on the top line.