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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Ovechkin Hat Trick, Gustafsson Power Capitals Past Canadiens

Marcus Johansson, Alex Ovechkin, Erik Gustafsson and more put on a show as the Washington Capitals steamrolled the Montreal Canadiens for a 9-2 win to close out 2022. Here are all the takeaways.



WASHINGTON — A somewhat sloppy start turned to one of the best games of the season for the Washington Capitals, as they piled on the offense and steamrolled the Montreal Canadiens to close out 2022.

Erik Gustafsson, Alex Ovechkin and more stars put on a show as they led the charge en route to a dominant 9-2 victory for Washington.

Here are all the takeaways from the win, which moves the Capitals within one point of second in the Metropolitan Division.

Ovechkin, Gustafsson Stay Hot, Washington Capitals Pile On Offense

Washington got off to an early start, as the team got to scoring just 32 seconds in when Gustafsson scored off a great give-and-go with Evgeny Kuznetsov, who finished the night with four assists himself. It marked his sixth goal of the season and extended his point streak to seven games.

Garnet Hathaway also struck in the first period, deflecting in a nice shot from Aliaksei Protas. It marked Hathaway's third point in four games. The fourth line came up big again in the second, as Nic Dowd put the Capitals up 3-1 after netting a Protas rebound. Protas had himself a night with two assists after going without a point in five straight games.

Then, it was Alex Ovechkin's turn to get offense going. The 37-year-old made no mistake on his first of the night, rocketing home one-timer off a great pass from Trevor van Riemsdyk to make it 4-1. He'd strike again to open the third, scoring from the office on the power play. His goal made it 6-2 and marked the team's second goal in as many power-play chances (Dylan Strome net a PPG at the end of the second). Ovechkin now has six goals in his last five games.

Ovechkin completed the hat trick, which is the 30th in his career, with 3:25 to go in the third with a highlight-reel goal. He held off the backcheck and drove to the net before beating Jake Allen in tight. His goal made it 9-2.

Marcus Johansson also put on a show with the game's seventh goal and two assists. He also scored again late in the third, but it was waved off for offside. Anthony Mantha also finally got a breakaway goal. Overall, seven Washington skaters had multi-point games.

Washington Capitals Get A Bit Sloppy, Charlie Lindgren Comes To Rescue

Despite the piling on of goals, some of the struggles in the Ottawa loss carried over, as the Capitals played a bit loose and again made some mistakes and costly turnovers against the Canadiens. Cole Caufield struck twice following rough misplays for Washington. However, the team thankfully got a big game from Charlie Lindgren.

Lindgren came up huge with quite a few big stops.

Lindgren and Darcy Kuemper have been great for the Capitals and have come up big, and Lindgren got rewarded with a win against the organization that gave him his first contract.

Additional Washington Capitals Ice Chips

– Lars Eller and Ovechkin got significant ice time together. Ovechkin started the game mainly on Evgeny Kuznetsov's wing.

– Speaking of Ovechkin, he's now 89 goals away from breaking Wayne Gretzky's record.

– Conor Sheary picked up an assist to extend his point streak to four games. He finished December with 15 points in 15 games.

– Strome is now on a four-game point streak.