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game recap

Carlson propels Capitals past Kings for fifth straight win

Scores twice, including 100th NHL goal for Washington

by Dan Greenspan / Independent Correspondent

Carlson's second goal of the 1st

WSH@LAK: Carlson dances around Quick for sweet tally

John Carlson dangles around Jonathan Quick and tucks the puck into the back of the net for his second goal of the 1st, doubling the lead to 2-0

  • 00:41 •

LOS ANGELES -- John Carlson scored twice, including his 100th NHL goal, and the Washington Capitals won their fifth straight game, 3-1 against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Wednesday.

It was Carlson's 13th multipoint game this season for the Capitals (21-4-5). Ilya Samsonov made 22 saves.

Carlson has 42 points (11 goals, 31 assists), tied with Denis Potvin (1975-76) and Al MacInnis (1990-91) for second most in NHL history by a defenseman through 30 games. Bobby Orr had five seasons with at least 42 points through 30 games, including 56 in 1974-75.


[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Kings highlights]


"I don't know what to say right now," Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin said. "He's the hottest guy out there. You can see, two highlight-reel goals again, and he's good."   

Blake Lizotte scored, and Jonathan Quick made 19 saves for the Kings (11-16-2), who are 1-3-0 in their past four.

Carlson became the fifth Capitals defenseman to score 100 goals and the 13th U.S.-born defenseman to do so by giving the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 4:36 of the first period, scoring on a wrist shot from the right point.

Carlson also became the sixth Capitals player and first defenseman with 10 goals this season.

"Yeah, it's been fun to watch, certainly," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. "The guys, you know, like to give him a hard time about it, and lots of things have gone his way. That being said, he's earned it, he's worked for it, he deserves it. It's not just the offensive stuff. He's blocking shots, playing rushes early. He's doing it all, obviously." 

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

Carlson made it 2-0 at 13:27 by faking Quick down onto one knee before reaching around to score at the near post. It was his sixth point (three goals, three assists) during a three-game streak.   

"He's just extremely solid to start with, and from there he's playing unbelievable hockey right now," forward Tom Wilson said of Carlson, who got his third multigoal game of the season. "He's been a horse, he's been a rock for us ever since I've been wearing a Caps jersey. Not surprising, but when you're this hot, it's nice to see them going in for him." 

The Kings have struggled with poor starts on the road recently, and coach Todd McLellan said their performance against the Capitals was far too reminiscent of how they fell behind 2-0 in a 4-2 loss at the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. 

"I think tonight was a repeat of our night in Anaheim, where we fell behind and then we started to dig our way out," McLellan said. "And it's admirable that our guys will do that and play to the end, but the beginning, there has to be a stronger belief system at the beginning."

Lizotte got the Kings within 2-1 at 3:20 of the third period. Samsonov tried to play the puck behind his own net but could not control it, with Lizotte poking it in for his third goal.

Video: WSH@LAK: Lizotte capitalizes on Samsonov's error

Reirden was pleased by how Samsonov responded after the mistake.

"He's got composure," Reirden said. "He's got presence to him. He's confident but not arrogant and went right back out and played the puck the next time and made the right play. It says a lot about the future of this guy as a goaltender and a top notch one, so we're fortunate to have him in our system and it's worked out well."  

Los Angeles continued to push despite conceding two penalties in the third period, but Wilson scored into an empty net at 18:41 for the 3-1 final.

"We're struggling scoring goals right now, so mistakes are magnified, and they end up costing you wins," McLellan said.


They said it 

"I mean, [we say] the same thing we say everyday: Johnny for Norris. There's nothing else to truly talk about. No, he's definitely one of our leaders and carries a lot of weight in the back end playing in all situations, playing big minutes. A lot of talk about his points and his goals, which is amazing right now, but also how good he is defensively. He's a solid rock back there and he gets the job done every night." -- Capitals forward T.J. Oshie on John Carlson

"Once it got to [2-0], I thought we said, 'You know what, let's go play. We got nothing to lose.' And we became a better team." -- Kings coach Todd McLellan


Need to know

The Capitals are 13-2-1 on the road. … Oshie had an assist to extend his point streak four games (one goal, six assists). … Washington is 7-0-3 against the Pacific Division. … Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (upper body) missed his seventh straight game. … The Kings are 7-2-1 in their past 10 home games.


What's next

Capitals: At the Anaheim Ducks on Friday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNE, SNO, SNP, KCOP-13, NBCSWA+, NHL.TV)

Kings: At the Edmonton Oilers on Friday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-W, NHL.TV)

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

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