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Capitals @ Canucks Recap: Ovi and the Caps Defeat Canucks In 5-1 Win

Ovechkin continues to make history and Kuemper continues to terrorize the Canucks in Washington’s 5-1 victory.

Washington Capitals v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Tonight was the second and final meeting between the Washington Capitals and Vancouver Canucks this season. When these two teams met in October, the Caps mounted a four-goal third period comeback in DC. The Canucks were riding a three-game win streak into tonight, and the Caps were coming off a tough loss in New Jersey on Saturday night.

Here’s what the Caps looked like in warmups tonight:

We all know Alex Ovechkin loves to score against teams with Bruce Boudreau behind the bench, so it would be wise of the Canucks to keep an eye on him tonight. Darcy Kuemper has 12 career wins against the Canucks, the most against any team for him. Could he make it 13?

Here’s Tuesday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Alex Ovechkin. We are so lucky to get to watch him play hockey, folks.

Minus: The John Carlson-Erik Gustafsson pairing is struggling in the defensive zone, which is really not ideal for a, hold on let me check my notes, defense pairing.

And now, the voice of an angel…

Nine more notes on the game:

1. Alex Ovechkin made history once again when he got the Caps on the board at 5:35 of the first. This unassisted tally marks his 402nd career road goal, tying that dude Wayne Gretzky for the most in NHL history. This was also Ovechkin’s 135th career game-opening goal, which ties him with Jaromir Jagr for the most in NHL history.

Welcome to The List, Spencer Martin. 165 goalies and counting.

Oh, and sorry Bruce.

2. Erik Gustafsson took a seat for tripping Andrei Kuzmenko at 6:48, giving the Canucks their first power play chance of the night. Vancouver’s power play is ranked fifth-best in the league this season, and Washington’s power play has been hot and cold. The Canucks recorded one shot on goal during Gustafsson’s penalty, but thankfully the Caps’ PK stood tall.

3. Ovi said, “I will not settle for a tie with Wayne Gretzky,” so he scored another at 11:52 of the first to take sole possession of the most road goals in NHL history. It was an odd trio of forwards on the ice as Anthony Mantha had to join the attack instead of completing the line change, but the goal came off a great passing sequence from Mantha to Dylan Strome to Ovechkin. Ovechkin’s one-timer from his office went between Martin’s blocker and pad, putting the Caps up by two.

This marks 160 career multi-goal games for Ovechkin, as well as his fourth goal in four games.

4. Two minutes after Ovechkin’s second goal, Nils Hoglander got one back for the Canucks. J.T. Miller stripped the puck from John Carlson by the boards and sent it down to Hoglander, who beat Darcy Kuemper with a nifty backhand move in the crease. Tough look on the defense for Washington for both Carlson and Gustafsson, who was caught flat-footed in the slot.

5. RED ALERT: Anthony Mantha goal! We repeat: Anthony Mantha goal! The play got started with excellent forecheck from Lars Eller to force the turnover behind the net. Eller got the puck to Marcus Johansson in the corner, and MoJo found Mantha in the slot. Great puck movement all around, all leading up to Mantha’s first goal in eight games just 40 seconds after Hoglander’s tally.

This was also a milestone moment for Eller, who recorded the 200th assist of his career on the tally. 3-1 Caps with 5:25 to go before first intermission.

6. Vancouver got their second power play opportunity of the night with 12:22 left in the middle frame after Conor Sheary got called for an offensive-zone hooking penalty on Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Canucks’ power play had three shots on goal this go around, but once again they could not convert. Still 3-1 Washington with half the game gone.

7. John Carlson extended the Caps’ lead to three with his fifth goal in seven games with 1:13 to go in the second. After the Capitals’ fourth line put together an excellent shift int he offensive zone. Nic Dowd made the goal possible by opening up the shooting lane with a lateral move and passed the puck to Carlson in the slot. Carlson had to battle a bit, but he managed to get a shot off that went top shelf over Martin’s shoulder. 4-1 Capitals after 40.

8. The Caps got their first power play opportunity of the night when Sheldon Dries was called for tripping Sonny Milano at 8:28 of the third. Unfortunately, T.J. Oshie took an interference penalty on Miller 44 seconds later and negated the man-advantage for Washington. Cue four-on-four! Neither team managed to convert with the open ice, holding the Caps’ lead to three.

9. Bruce Boudreau pulled Spencer Martin with 6:51 (!) left in the game. Ovechkin just missed an empty net chance for the hatty with 5:06 left, but Martin Fehervary scored the nail in the coffin with 4:03 to go with a shot that went dead center. 5-1 Washington, and that’ll do it.

Up next for the Caps: more late-night hockey to ring in December when the Capitals face the Kraken in Seattle on Thursday, 10pm ET.