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game recap

Vrana's hat trick boosts Capitals to victory against Flames

Kuznetsov assists on two of forward's goals in Washington's fourth straight win

by Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Vrana's first NHL hat trick

CGY@WSH: Vrana records first career NHL hat trick

Jakub Vrana beats Cam Talbot twice in the 1st and scores on a breakaway in the 2nd, recording his first career NHL hat trick

  • 02:00 •

WASHINGTON -- Jakub Vrana scored his first NHL hat trick and the Washington Capitals defeated the Calgary Flames 4-2 at Capital One Arena on Sunday for their fourth straight win.

Vrana has five goals in his past two games and nine for the season.

"I'm not that surprised. He has it in him," Washington's Lars Eller said of Vrana. "I don't expect him to score three every night, but he's got that kind of talent that he can do that once in awhile. I think as he gets more and more experience, we'll see that more consistently. He's going to score a lot of goals in this league."

 

[WATCH: All Flames vs. Capitals highlights]

 

Eller also scored for Washington (11-2-3), which is 8-0-1 in its past nine games. Evgeny Kuznetsov assisted on two Vrana goals and Ilya Samsonov made 25 saves.

Video: Jakub Vrana's Enterprise Hat Trick on 11/03/2019

Andrew Mangiapane had a goal and an assist and Elias Lindholm also scored for Calgary (8-7-2), which was playing the second of back-to-back games on the road after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 on Saturday. Cam Talbot made 28 saves.

"I thought we had good jump," Calgary captain Mark Giordano said. "If anything, the plays that cost us tonight were because we were overaggressive a little bit trying to hold lines and making reads to stay in their zone. I think they got some looks out of that."

Alex Ovechkin played his 1,100th NHL game in front of a crowd that included the World Series champion Washington Nationals.

Calgary played without forward Milan Lucic, who was suspended for two games for roughing Blue Jackets forward Kole Sherwood during Saturday's game.

The Flames took a 1-0 lead at 5:40 of the first period when Matthew Tkachuk intercepted Dmitry Orlov's pass behind the Washington net and passed in front to Mangiapane for the goal.

"It was a nice play by [Tkachuk] to read the play and pick it up behind the net and I just wanted to beat my guy off the wall or wherever it was and just take it hard to the net," Mangiapane said.

Vrana tied it at 1-1 when he scored on a 2-on-1 rush off a backhand pass from Kuznetsov at 11:01.

Video: CGY@WSH: Kuznetsov sets up Vrana on the odd-man rush

"That's my bread and butter," Kuznetsov said of the pass. "I see him wide open and when you have a guy that hot you've just got to get it to him and he will deliver it."

Vrana struck again at 15:08 when Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic poked the puck away from Kuznetsov to him, and Vrana beat Talbot from the left circle to make it 2-1.

"I'm just trying to keep working hard and keep working on my shot," Vrana said. "Focus on the right things. We've been playing great as a team."

Lindholm scored with 1.6 seconds left in the period, deflecting Oliver Kylington's shot from the point past Samsonov to make it 2-2.

Video: CGY@NSH: Lindholm nets goal off defender's stick

"I thought we were good," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "I thought we started on time. I thought we had all four lines going there. I thought it was huge goal by [Lindholm] at the end of the first and we were in good shape right there."

The Capitals took a 3-2 lead in the second period when a Kuznetsov pass sent Vrana in on a breakaway, and he knocked in his own rebound at 15:05 after Talbot made the initial save.

Video: CGY@WSH: Vrana finishes hat trick on breakaway

"That's definitely close to our identity in terms of wanting to pressure and use our speed," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. "I think we've got some good speed throughout our lineup now. It's nice to have that sort of depth."

Eller made it 4-2 at 2:20 of the third period when he scored from the left circle on a power play.

 

They said it

"We needed that [penalty] kill in the third. We needed to keep it at 3-2 there. They got a little bit of wiggle room and then we couldn't find a way to get the next one. To me, that was a big power-play goal that they got." -- Flames coach Bill Peters

"I think every line is contributing. We can get goals from defensemen too. Every time we're on the ice we feel like there's five guys that can score. A lot of guys are feeling good about themselves so it's very positive for us." -- Capitals forward Lars Eller

 

Need to know

The Flames went 2-2-1 on their road trip. Lindholm has nine points (five goals, four assists) during a seven-game point streak. … Only Wayne Gretzky (793 goals) and Brett Hull (679) scored more goals than Ovechkin (669) through their 1,100th NHL game. … Michal Kempny (assist) has nine points (three goals, six assists) in eight games after missing Washington's first eight games while recovering from hamstring surgery in April.

 

What's next

Flames: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the Florida Panthers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Video: Vrana notches hat trick, Capitals honor Nationals

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