Justin Williams recorded his second-career hat trick Sunday night. Williams didn’t have much of a celebration after he scored his empty-net goal, but once the Caps put Run DMC’s It’s Tricky on the speakers, Williams’ face lit up, and he began rapping with Rev Run and DMC.
Photo: Rob Carr
Justin Williams wasn’t brought to Washington to be a pure goal scorer and point producer. But in his regular role on the second line and second power play unit, Williams has become one of the team’s best finishers in front of the net. Through 45 games, Williams has 16 goals, which ranks second on the team and 58th in the NHL. Williams is also on pace for 29 goals, which would be the most he’s scored since the 2006-07 season with the Carolina Hurricanes, where he scored a career high 33 at age 25.
On Sunday night, Williams had arguably his best game yet as a Capital, scoring his second career hat trick and his first since October 16, 2006 with the ‘Canes.
“It was a looooooong time ago,” Williams told reporters when asked if he remembered the last time he scored three goals.
Williams’s hat trick Sunday was due to a little bit of luck, a little bit of magic from his teammates, and a lot of hard work.
Photo: Nick Lust
Former Capital forward Joel Ward is killing it in San Jose. Saturday night at SAP Center, The Big Cheese had his biggest game of the young season, scoring his second career hat trick in a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. His first career hat trick came November 1, 2013 against the Flyers.
Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov played the best game of his young career against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night. Kuzy tallied three goals–his first NHL hat trick–and two assists in the Caps’ 7-4 win. The five points were a career high (in the NHL).
The young Russian’s trio of goals covered all the bases. There was a beautiful tic-tac-toe with linemates TJ Oshie and Alexander Ovechkin, a breakaway off a perfect feed from John Carlson (and a pretty bad play at center ice by Oilers defenseman J. Schultz (no, not that one), and a power-play snipe to close out the third period.
Photo: Caps Instagram
Nicklas Backstrom scored a natural hat trick on Saturday night, which meant Caps fans got a chance to throw their favorite hats onto the ice.
But not everything they threw were hats.
Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom made it rain hats tonight. Nicky scored the first regular-season hat trick of his career and the Caps’ first natural hat trick since Alex Semin did it in 2010. Backstrom’s only other hatty came against the Habs in the 2010 playoffs (OMG DONT REMIND ME).
Photo: SC Stingrays
Washington Capitals prospect Caleb Herbert scored his first professional hat trick on Saturday. A few days after getting reassigned to ECHL South Carolina from Hershey, Herbert netted three goals as the Stingrays beat the Greenville Road Warriors 4-2.
A few years ago, Polish-born forward Wojtek Wolski came to the Washington Capitals as a reclamation project. Instead of becoming a permanent member in the team’s top six, he became a permanent denizen of Adam Oates’s doghouse and left for the KHL. Since then, he has had some success with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod.
And by success I mean setting insane records. Today Wolski set the KHL record for the fastest hat trick ever. He did it pretty fast.
Photo credit: Ludwig Thunman/AP
Washington Capitals first-round pick Andre Burakovsky scored a hat trick in the World Juniors preliminary round game against Norway that ended, quite unsurprisingly, in a blowout of the Norwegians, 10-0.
Photo credit: Geoff Burke
Mike Green was terrible tonight, but luckily for the Washington Capitals, captain Alex Ovechkin, was not. Ovi recorded the 13th hat trick of his career to lead his team to an improbable comeback in the second period. He then added a fourth goal in third period to force overtime. Ovi, the league leader in goals, now has 26 goals on the season. He is six ahead of second-place Corey Perry and Alex Steen. He has 49 goals in his last 52 games. He is amazing.
Also, Ovi’s two power-play goals in the second stanza put him at 138 in his career, making him the Capitals franchise leader, leap-frogging one of my favorite players as a kid, Peter Bondra.
And now, why the hats flew.