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game recap

Carlson reaches 20 points in October in Capitals win against Flames

Becomes fourth defenseman in NHL history to achieve feat; Ovechkin has goal, assist for Washington

by Aaron Vickers / Independent Correspondent

Carlson's second goal of game

WSH@CGY: Carlson pots empty-netter for second goal

John Carlson intercepts the puck before firing it into the open net, increasing the Capitals' lead to 5-2 with his second goal of the game

  • 00:48 •

CALGARY -- John Carlson scored two goals for the Washington Capitals in a 5-3 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday to become the fourth defenseman in NHL history to have at least 20 points in the month of October.

Carlson, who leads the NHL with 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 11 games, joins Paul Coffey (Edmonton Oilers, 7-13-20 in 13 games in 1981; 3-18-21 in 11 games in 1988), Al MacInnis (Flames, 8-17-25 in 13 games in 1990), and Brian Leetch (New York Rangers, 5-16-21 in 14 games in 1990). 

He is also the third defenseman to lead the League in scoring outright through the first 20 days of the season, joining Baldy Northcott (Montreal Maroons, 1932-33) and Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins, 1969-70 and 1974-75).


[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Flames highlights]


"It's cool. It's a great thing, obviously," said Carlson, who has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in an eight-game point streak. "I don't really know what to say.

"Pretty lucky. I've had some good fortune this month."

Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist, and Chandler Stephenson and Tom Wilson scored for the Capitals (7-2-2), who have won four in a row and are 5-1-0 in the past six games. Braden Holtby made 32 saves.

Video: WSH@CGY: Ovechkin provides quick response for Caps

"I think we've come out and got the lead in the majority of the games this year, which is a good change of pace from years past, I think," Carlson said. "We could've done a better job early on of finishing games, but I think guys are just doing their jobs out there. Maybe we put a little more onus on a good start. Whatever we're doing seems to be a good formula."

Elias Lindholm, Austin Czarnik and Tobias Rieder scored, and Cam Talbot made 25 saves for the Flames (5-5-1), who have lost two of three.

"We're a good hockey team and we know that," Calgary forward Sean Monahan said. "Obviously we've got to show that night-in, night-out."

Video: WSH@CGY: Gaudreau sets up Lindholm's power-play goal

Carlson scored 35 seconds into the second period on a sharp-angle shot from the boards to put Washington up 1-0. 

"I think a lot of times, but especially tonight, that was pretty lucky," said Carlson, who is four points from passing Kevin Hatcher (426) for the third-most points by a defenseman in Capitals history. "That's all there is to it, really."

Stephenson made it 2-0 at 2:41. Talbot misplayed the puck behind his net and Stephenson's centering pass deflected in off Calgary defenseman Rasmus Andersson

Video: WSH@CGY: Stephenson knocks puck in off skate in 2nd

Lindholm scored on the power play to cut the lead to 2-1 at 3:19, and Czarnik tied the game 2-2 at 16:25. 

Ovechkin scored with a one-timer on a 2-on-1 to put the Capitals up 3-2 at 16:35. He has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in an eight-game point streak.

Wilson shot glove-side along the ice to make it 4-2 at 12:34 of the third period, and Carlson scored his second of the game into the empty net for a 5-2 lead with 1:45 remaining. 

"I said this morning, 'Johnny for Norris [Trophy],'" Ovechkin said. "That's a hashtag right now. Let's keep it going."

Video: WSH@CGY: Carlson fires one by Talbot for opening goal

Rieder made it 5-3 with 16 seconds left.  

"I don't know what the stats are but it's never a good thing when you are down going into the third period," Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk said. "We had our chances but we weren't good enough."


They said it

"When we execute on that identity we just kind of take over parts of games like we've seen this year. The more we grow the more we learn. Just keep stretching those great stretches in any given game or period out. It's a good formula. We're a dangerous team when we're doing the right things." -- Capitals defenseman John Carlson

"They're probably the best we've played this year. They've got a good team over there, top to bottom. They've got good depth and they work hard. Their top guys played well, and they've got great goaltending and good defense as well. That was a good measuring stick team. If we can take any positives it's that we carried stretches of that." -- Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk


Need to know

It's the first time the Capitals have won five of their first six road games. ... Carlson had a streak of seven consecutive games with at least one assist end one short of tying the Capitals record set by Scott Stevens in 1988 and tied by Mike Green in 2009. … Ovechkin has 346 multipoint games in the NHL. … Backstrom had an assist to pass Daniel Sedin and move into fifth place among Sweden-born players in assists at 649. … Rieder's goal is his first in 76 games dating to April 5, 2018. … Capitals forward T.J. Oshie has six points (four goals, two assists) in a five-game point streak.


What's next

Capitals: At the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SN1, NBCSWA, NHL.TV) 

Flames: Host the Florida Panthers on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Video: Carlson scores twice to pace Capitals' 5-3 road win

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