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Ovechkin, Sheary Strike, Samsonov Clutch Again As Capitals Thrash Sharks



Capitals forward Conor Sheary

The Washington Capitals got two key pieces back in the lineup against the San Jose Sharks in T.J. Oshie and Nic Dowd. While both made it onto the scoresheet, it was ultimately another Ilya Samsonov shutout, as well as respective two-goal efforts from both Alex Ovechkin and Conor Sheary, that led to a dominant 4-0 victory for the Capitals in San Jose.

The Capitals got things going quickly, with strong play from Daniel Sprong keeping the play alive early on. He got the puck across to Conor Sheary, who fired a quick shot past Adin Hill to give Washington a 1-0 lead just over two minutes into the first period.

Sprong and Aliaksei Protas picked up helpers on the goal, giving Protas his first career NHL point.

Washington controlled the pressure in the opening frame, and later in the period, the Capitals got a power play that came to life in the most ideal way.

Alex Ovechkin scored on his famous one-timer from the office to give Washington a 2-0 advantage. Ovechkin now has 13 goals this year for a total of 743 red lights in his career. His PPG was his first from the office this season and his 272nd career power-play goal. He sits three away from passing Dave Andreychuk for the most power-play goals in NHL history.

John Carlson picked up the primary helper on Ovechkin’s strike. With that, he passed Michal Pivonka for the third-most assists in Capitals franchise history and now has 419 assists. He joins active players Ovechkin (second, 604) and Nicklas Backstrom (first, 722), on that list.

T.J. Oshie had the secondary assist on Ovechkin’s goal, giving him a point in his first game back in action. He now has seven points through eight games so far.

READ MORE ON WHN: All of the Capitals Rookie Skaters Have Now Scored A Point This Year

After a solid first, the Sharks titled the ice in the second. They were generating several scoring chances, controlling the puck and forcing turnovers where they could. Aliaksei Protas did have his first NHL goal on a layup in front, but the officials waved it off immediately due to goaltender interference from Daniel Sprong.

Despite San Jose upping the pressure, Ilya Samsonov and the Capitals stood tall, though, denying them on a few high-danger chances and killing a couple of power-play opportunities, including a lengthy double-minor.

San Jose ultimately outshot Washington 10-7 in the second and led 16-13 in SOG heading into the final 20.

The Capitals played a much more composed final frame as both teams exchanged chances, with Washington doing a solid job of shutting down the Sharks.

With regulation time winding down, Sheary came in clutch yet again and gave the Capitals the late boost they needed, ripping home his second of the game from the seat of his pants to make it 3-0. Carlson picked up his second helper of the night, marking his third-straight multi-point game. Ovechkin picked up the secondary helper for his third multi-point outing in his last five games. Ovechkin has collected at least two points in 10 of 18 games this season.

Ovechkin then put the final nail in the coffin with an empty-netter for career goal No. 744, putting him 23 markers away from Jaromir Jagr. He now has 14 goals and 29 points in 18 games this season. Ovechkin is tied with Calgary’s Andrew Mangiapane for second in goals and ranks third in points.

Dowd had the apple on Ovechkin’s empty-netter, giving No. 26 his first assist of the season and a point in his return to play.

RELATED: Capitals Reflect On Ovechkin’s Continued Greatness

Arguably, though, the first star of the night was Samsonov. No. 30 was in control of the game, tracked the puck well and did great with positioning, rebound control and reads to come up big and keep the Sharks off the board. He ultimately made 22 stops for his second shutout in as many games and is the first netminder since Braden Holtby in 2017 (SOs on Jan. 5 and 7) to accomplish that feat.

Samsonov is now 6-0-1 with a sparkling .924 save percentage and 2.11 GAA, along with three shutouts, through eight games this season.

The Capitals will be right back at it on Sunday when they face the Seattle Kraken for the first time in Oshie’s native Washington State.

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