10 - Number of times a member of the Capitals has scored at least two goals this season, which leads the League (Vancouver has seven such performances, with five other teams at six apiece) and accounts for just over 8% of the 121 games Leaguewide.
The Caps’ two-plus goal games have been spread around throughout the lineup, with six different players registering at least one this season. Unsurprisingly, Alex Ovechkin leads the way with three, while Jakub Vrana’s big weekend has him right behind at two alongside John Carlson. Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, and Michal Kempny round out the group. Vrana is the only one of the pack to have picked up the hat trick, one of just 14 around the League so far this season.
That the Caps can boast more than one blueliner with a multigoal game under his belt is pretty impressive in its own right, by the way. Kempny and Carlson belong to a select group of just considering that only seven defensemen total in the NHL to have even one two-goal game - and the only two from the same team.
Vrana’s hat trick last night also helped the Caps match an impressive, albeit somewhat obscure, franchise record. Here’s Mike Vogel with more ahead of last night’s win:
In each of their last five games, the Caps have had at least one player score two goals. The club record is six straight, and it was set more than 32 years ago, from Feb. 7-24, 1987.
The current run began in Calgary on Oct. 22 when John Carlson scored twice. Two nights later in Edmonton, Alex Ovechkin had a pair of goals. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Michal Kempny each had two goals in Washington’s Oct. 25 win over the Canucks in Vancouver, and Carlson and Ovechkin each struck twice in Tuesday’s triumph in Toronto. Finally, on Friday night against Buffalo, Jakub Vrana had a pair of lamplighters.
Craig Laughlin started the Caps’ record spree in 1987, scoring twice on Feb. 7 in a loss to the Rangers. Bobby Gould netted a pair in the Caps’ next game, a 5-3 win over the Oilers in Edmonton on Feb. 15. Mike Gartner scored twice in a 7-4 loss to the Kings in LA on Feb. 18, and he scored two more the very next game in Vancouver on Feb. 20. Alan Haworth ran the streak to five straight games with a pair of goals at Calgary on Feb. 22, and Gartner and David Jensen each struck twice when the Caps returned home to thump Detroit 8-2 on Feb. 24.
The Caps’ current streak marks the 10th time in franchise history that they’ve had a player with two goals in at least five straight games, and it’s the first time it’s happened in nearly 10 years (Nov. 28-Dec. 7, 2009). This is the third time the Caps have turned the trick in the last 26 years.
Over the 100 years plus of the league’s existence, there have been 285 instances of a team going at least five straight games with a player scoring twice. The last time a team extended that run to six games was Dec. 15-28, 2018 when the Toronto Maple Leafs had a six-game run.