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#CapsHabs Postgame Notebook: Secondary Modern

Beagle notches career high 11th goal, secondary scoring and special teams come through, Trotz passes Irvin.

by Mike Vogel @VogsCaps / Monumental Sports Network

Throughout the course of the 2015-16 season, the Capitals got a grand total of 62 goals from all forwards outside of the team's top six. (For purposes of this discussion, the top six consists of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams.) On Saturday afternoon in Montreal, the Caps got their first two goals of the game from bottom six forwards, and then Backstrom's power-play goal in the third period proved to be the game-winner in a 3-2 Washington win over the Canadiens.

Jay Beagle scored at 3:02 of the first period, tallying on his first shift of the game. Washington has scored the game's first goal 37 times this season, and 16 of those first goals of the game have come from the team's bottom six forwards. Beagle has scored the game's first goal four times this season. 
Video: WSH@MTL: Beagle buries a wrister from the high slot
Andre Burakovsky netted the Caps' second goal of the game at 9:26 of the second period, putting Washington back on top by a 2-1 count at that point of the contest. 

With the two tallies from the bottom six on Saturday, the Capitals have now gotten 49 goals from forwards outside the top six this season. That amounts to nearly one per game, and it's only 13 shy of last season's total with 30 games remaining. 

This One Goes to Eleven - Beagle and Burakovsky both scored their 11th goal of the season on Saturday, and for Beagle, that figure represents a single-season career high. He notched 10 goals with Washington in 2014-15 and has surpassed that total with 30 games left on the schedule. 
Video: WSH@MTL: Burakovsky roofs Connolly's great feed
First Impressions - The Caps scored the game's first goal for the 37th time in 52 games this season on Saturday. Last season, the Caps did so just 38 times in 82 games.

Washington is 29-4-4 when scoring the game's first goal this season, and the Caps have outscored the opposition by a whopping 54-23 in the first frame of games in 2016-17. 

"It keeps the pressure on the other team," says Caps coach Barry Trotz of scoring first. "Last year, we were a team that barely played even in the first period. I think we were a negative for the year, and in the second and third periods we'd be pretty dominant. But this year we've fixed our starts a little bit. 

"It makes it easier. It's hard to chase the game when you're on the other side and you're always playing with house money a little bit. If you make a mistake, you get to even terms. And if they make a mistake, you pull away."

Washington's plus-31 goal differential in the first period is tops in the NHL. The Caps have allowed the fewest first-period goals in the league this season, and only Toronto (55) has scored more goals in the first frame. 
Video: Trotz talks after a 3-2 win in Montreal
The 500 Club - Caps defenseman John Carlson skated in the 500th game of his NHL career on Saturday in Montreal. Carlson becomes the 11th defenseman in franchise history to play in as many as 500 games in a Washington sweater. 

Carlson ranks eighth all-time on Washington's list of goals (58), assists (195) and points (253) by a defenseman. 

Bad Hombre - Carlson played in his 46th game of the season on Saturday, and he also did time in the penalty box for the first time all season against the Habs. The fewest penalty minutes ever by a Caps defenseman in a season in which he skated in at least 50 games is a dozen PIM by Jeff Schultz in 72 games with Washington in 2010-11. 

Special Delivery - Washington went 1-for-4 on the power play in Saturday's game and successfully snuffed all three Montreal extra-man opportunities. Washington is now 12-1-0 this season and 29-1-0 since the start of 2015-16 in games in which it scores at least one power-play goal and is perfect on the penalty kill.

Since Trotz took over behind the Washington bench at the start of the 2014-15 season, the Capitals are 47-5-2 when they score at least one power-play goal and do not permit any extra-man tallies.

Climbing The Ladder - Last month, Ovechkin netted the 544th goal of his NHL career, tying all-time NHL great Maurice "The Rocket" Richard. Ovehckin tied Richard in Montreal where the Rocket played his entire NHL career. 

Trotz earned his 693rd career win on Saturday in Montreal. That victory moves him one ahead of Hockey Hall of Fame coach Dick Irvin for sixth place on the NHL's all-time wins list. Irvin spent 15 seasons as the Canadiens coach from 1940-55. Irvin led the Habs to three Cups during his time in Montreal; he also won a Cup with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1932.

Irvin's 692 wins came in 1,449 games spread over 27 seasons as an NHL coach with the Blackhawks, Leafs and Canadiens. Trotz achieved his 693 wins in 1,412 games over 18 seasons behind NHL benches with Nashville and Washington. 

Down On The Farm - The AHL Hershey Bears earned their third straight win on Saturday night on Saturday night at Giant Center, a 5-2 victory over the St. John's Ice Caps. 

After surrendering the game's first goal to the Ice Caps just 89 seconds after the opening puck drop, the Bears scored four unanswered goals, the first three of which came in the game's first period.

With help from Tyler Lewington and Christian Djoos, Paul Carey scored his 14th goal of the season at 4:51 of the first. Lewington (his second of the season) and Ryan Bourque (his first) followed with unassisted tallies in the first frame at 7:32 and 9:48, respectively. 

Stanislav Galiev made it a 4-1 game for the Bears at 1:52 of the second, Brad Malone and Carey assisting. After the Ice Caps scored to pull within a pair, Hershey's Christian Thomas scored his 17th goal of the season on a Bears power play at 19:12 of the second period. Galiev and Carey assisted on Thomas' power play goal. 

The teams played a scoreless third, and Parker Milner - up from ECHL South Carolina - finished with 29 saves to earn his second AHL victory of the season and the eighth of his professional career. 

Hershey hosts St. John's again on Sunday, with puck drop coming at 2 p.m. at Giant Center. 

Down a level, the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays were on the road on Saturday night, facing the Monarchs in Manchester. The Stingrays came out on the short end of a 5-3 score. 

Marcus Perrier, Scott Tanski and Steven McParland scored for the Stingrays in a losing effort. Goaltender Adam Carlson was dented for five goals on 32 shots before being pulled in favor of Steven Summerhays in the third. Summerhays stopped all three shots he faced.

By The Numbers - Carlson led the Caps with 24:16 in ice time and four blocked shots … Ovechkin and Beagle led the Capitals with five shots on net each, and Burakovsky led the way with eight shot attempts … Tom Wilson led Washington with five hits … Backstrom won 15 of 19 draws (79%) and Beagle won nine of 15 (60%).

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