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Capitals @ Kings Recap: Caps Grab Victors’ Crown in 3-1 Win

John Carlson scores career goals 100 and 101 and Ilya Samsonov comes up with some big saves as Caps win fifth consecutive game

NHL: Washington Capitals at Los Angeles Kings Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals were coming off a dominant victory at the Shark Tank last night, and the Kings were hoping to use their day off on Tuesday to their advantage. Los Angeles has been...struggling as of late, and they have also been without defenseman Alec Martinez since November 26 after he had surgery to repair a radial artery after catching a skate blade with his wrist. Could the Caps stay hot in California, or would the Kings come away with the crown? Spoiler alert: John Carlson said “I’ll take that crown, thank you very much” and led Washington to a 3-1 victory.

Here’s Wednesday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: John Carlson. That’s it, that’s the tweet.

Minus: The player that ended Ilya Samsonov’s shutout bid? Ilya Samsonov. Samsonov has been working on improving his puck handling, but he done goofed behind his own net and left the puck up for grabs.

And now, whatever the heck this is:

Ten more notes on the game:

1. John Carlson had a three-point game in San Jose last night, and clearly he has decided to terrorize LA too. He scored the 100th goal of his career on a wicked snap shot past Jonathan Quick, totally surprising the all-star netminder. Carlson created the entire 200-foot play, snagging the puck in the defensive zone and bringing it all the way down the ice. That’s his tenth goal of the season, which brings the number of Caps with at least ten goals this season to six, a league best.

2. Carlson wasn’t satisfied with 100 career goals tonight, so he scored number 101 in absolutely filthy fashion. Honestly I’m running out of ways to describe him, so please, this nonsense:

Carlson had three multi-goal games in his 688 games coming into this season, and this is his third multi-goal outing in 30 games this season. Tonight also makes 13 multi-point games this season for Carlson, the most among all NHL defensemen. Fun fact: he would be the offensive leader for 25 NHL teams. Ha.

3. Don’t let John “Norris” Carlson overshadow what T.J. Oshie is doing right now. With the stunning primary assist on Carlson’s second goal of the night, Oshbabe now has seven points in four games.

4. Michal Kempny continued his tour of every penalty box in the league when he got called for closing his hand on the puck with 0:39 left in the first period. That’s always seemed like a silly thing to get a minor penalty for, but oh well. Luckily, Carl Hagelin is back in the lineup and therefore back on the top penalty kill unit. With Hagelin in the lineup, the Capitals PK has been operating at an 86.2% kill rate. That’s, uh...that’s really good.

5. During the second period, Alex Ovechkin was spotted aiming a blowtorch at his helmet on the bench. Yes, you read that right: Ovi with the blowtorch on the Caps’ bench. Perhaps he was craving a crème brûlée?

6. Just over three minutes into the third period, Ilya Samsonov made a big oops behind his net and Blake Lizotte was there to take advantage. His wraparound tally finally got the Kings on the board and cut the Caps’ lead in half.

7. The Kings finally took a trip to the sin bin with 12:28 left in the third with an Anze Kopitar hooking penalty. The Capitals’ power play? Not great, Bob!

8. The Caps got another chance on the man advantage when Tyler Toffoli got whistled for interference with just under five minutes to go. They had some better chances this time, including an Alex Ovechkin one-timer that is probably still in the air now, but they still couldn’t convert.

9. The Kings pulled Quick for the extra attacker, and Tom Wilson cashed in on the empty net opportunity with a bullseye of a goal from 175 feet away. That’s his 11th goal of the season. It wasn’t a Carlson hatty, but we’ll take it.

10. The Capitals penalty kill was a perfect three-for-three tonight, and with the 3-1 win, Washington improves their road record to 13-2-1 this season.

The Capitals will head to Anaheim tonight for Friday’s tilt against the Ducks. The last time these teams met, things got feisty. What does the rematch have in store? Whatever happens, hopefully it includes Nicklas Backstrom.