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Caps take fifth straight in sleepy LA affair, Carlson scores twice to crack the century mark, more

by Mike Vogel @VogsCaps /

Turning 21 - Washington muddled its way through a sleepy, dull affair with the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night at Staples Center, emerging from the game with a 3-1 win over its hosts. That victory is the Caps' 21st of the season, and it came in the team's 30th game of the 2019-20 campaign.

With Wednesday's win, the Caps have established a franchise record for most points (47) through the first 30 games of the season.

John Carlson scored a pair of first period goals, and it proved to be all the offense that Ilya Samsonov (21 saves) would require to nail down his seventh win in nine starts this season (7-2-1).

Video: Carlson surpasses 100 career goals in 3-1 victory

From the time Carlson scored his second goal of the game at 13:27 of the first until the Caps went on their first power play of the game at 7:32 of the third, Washington managed just three even-strength shots on net - two of them from Richard Panik - in a span of 34 minutes and 5 seconds. But the Kings couldn't muster much in the way of an attack either; the only goal to find its way behind Samsonov came early in the third as a result of his own misplay behind the Washington net.

Wednesday's game was a lull-you-to-sleep type of affair that must have spiked coffee sales on the Staples Center concourse.

"I think that's a really good way to describe it," says Caps right wing Tom Wilson. "Right off the opening puck drop, it kind of seemed like there was some flow and it was a little bit slower than maybe a game like [Tuesday night in San Jose] or in the past.

"There are so many different styles of play from different teams, and we adapt to it. We watch lots of film and try and come up with a game plan to take them down. At some points it wasn't pretty tonight, but we got the job done."

Video: Postgame | December 4

Century City - Carlson's first goal on Wednesday was the 100th of his NHL career. He joins Kevin Hatcher (149), Sergei Gonchar (144), Mike Green (113) and Calle Johansson (113) as the fifth blueliner in Washington's franchise history to score 100 or more goals in a Caps sweater.

After entering the 2019-20 season with three career multi-goal games in 688 career contests, Carlson has had three multi-goal games in 30 games this season.

Carlson has 42 points (11 goals, 31 assists) in his team's first 30 games, and only legendary Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Orr has accrued more points at the 30-game mark among all defensemen in NHL history. Orr had four seasons in which he had more than 42 points after 30 games, with a high of 56 in 1974-75.

Finally, Carlson has supplied the game-winning goal late in the first period of consecutive contests on consecutive nights for the Caps. Four of his 11 goals this season and 22 of his 101 career goals are game-winners.

Video: WSH@LAK: Carlson scores 100th career NHL goal

Start! - Carlson's first goal came at 4:36 of the first period, marking the ninth time in 30 games this season that Washington has opened the scoring in the first five minutes of a contest. The are Caps now 7-0-2 when scoring the game's first goal in the first five minutes.

Goodfellas - When Michal Kempny was busted and sent to the box for closing his hand on the puck in the waning seconds of the first period on Wednesday, it marked the first penalty-killing assignment for the Capitals in 105 minutes and 20 seconds, dating back to a second-period bench minor for too many men on the ice this past Saturday in Detroit.

Southern Pacific - The Caps' win over the Kings on Wednesday runs their record against Pacific Division opponents to 7-0-3 on the season. Washington's total of 17 points against Pacific foes is the most in the NHL.

Video: Reirden Postgame | December 4

Road Runner - Washington has won three straight road games and is now 13-2-1 in 16 road contests this season. Last season, the Caps earned their 13th road win in their 21st road game, moving to 13-6-2 on the road with a win in Detroit on Jan. 6, 2019.

By The Numbers - Dmitry Orlov led the Caps with 22:38 in ice time … Carlson led the Caps with four shots on net … Alex Ovechkin led Washington with six shot attempts … Panik and Radko Gudas led the Caps with four hits each … Jonas Siegenthaler blocked four shots on the night and was named the game's No. 2 star … Lars Eller won 10 of 12 face-offs (83 percent), T.J. Oshie won four of five (80 percent) and Travis Boyd won six of 10 (60 percent) … Neither team managed to accrue as many as 50 shot attempts in Wednesday's game; the Caps led the Kings 48-44 in that department.

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