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Caps vs. Canes Recap: Ovechkin and Samsonov Crush Carolina 2-0

The Washington Capitals defeated their would-be rivals the Carolina Hurricanes behind two goals from Alex Ovechkin and a career-first shutout from rookie Ilya Samsonov.

Carolina Hurricanes v Washington Capitals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

You know how sometimes your little brother pesters you, and pesters you, and pesters you, and finally you have to just lay a whoopin’ on him?

Yeah, the Carolina Hurricanes came to town, and it was kinda like that.

Here’s Monday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Alex Ovechkin now sits 11th all-time among NHL goal-scorers. Just incredible. When he goes into the Hall of Fame, his jersey will say “WASHINGTON,” and that’s pretty cool.

Minus: A scary moment for Michal Kempny in the first period. More on that below.

And now, this...

Ten more notes on the game:

1. What’s that sound? Why, it’s a Bunch of Jerks coming to town in the shape of the Carolina Hurricanes! After defeating the Canes 4-3 just ten days ago, could Washington repeat the magic and make it two Ws in a fortnight against Carolina?

2. Carolina would make the trip without the King Jerk, Mr. Game 7 himself, Justin Williams. Williams, who announced his return to hockey from a half-season pseudo-retirement earlier this week, would not make his first appearance this year at his own former friendly confines of Capital One Arena, as he gets back up to speed. Will there be a playoff reunion later this year for the salt-and-pepper playboy?

3. Rookie netminder Ilya Samsonov would get the nod from Todd Reirden in net, looking to improve upon his utterly sparking 12-2-1 record so far this campaign.

4. The first period of this contest was a fiesta for the Capitals. And the scoring was commenced by - who else - Mr. Alex Ovechkin, the captain and GOAT. His even strength wrister dented the twine halfway through the frame, and put Ovechkin in sole position of 11th in the NHL all-time, passing fellow Great Eight Teemu Selanne. Congratulations, Ovi!

5. But Ovechkin wasn’t even done for the PERIOD. Just six minutes later, the Big Russian struck again, blasting a signature power play one-timer from his office to make it 2-0 and give Washington the Most Dangerous Lead in Hockey.

6. One scary moment in the first: Michal Kempny, who returned earlier this season from a long-term leg injury, took a hard crash into the corner boards courtesy of a clean hockey play by Carolina’s Warren Foegele. There was much teeth-gnashing and hair-pulling among the Capitals faithful, but #6 would return for the start of the second period.

7. And believe it or not.....that would do it for the scoring in this contest, despite Carolina finishing the game with about 2 minutes of empty-net time! The Capitals went home winners, 2-0.

8. Ilya Samsonov was FANTASTIC, recording his first NHL shutout! He made 23 saves, and was won 8 straight games for the Capitals. Congrats, rookie!

9. Tom Wilson, the one-time bad boy and likely future captain of the Washington Capitals, played in his 500th career NHL game tonight, the youngest forward in franchise history to reach that milestone. Congrats, Tommy!

10. The Capitals improve to an NHL-best 67 points on the season, moving two points ahead of Boston and St. Louis for the league lead.

Washington keeps the wins coming, and the Capitals look pretty dang good between the pipes. Next up is the struggling New Jersey Devils on Thursday.