The Washington Capitals hosted a pregame ceremony Saturday for longtime NHL Official Kelly Sutherland. The 45-year-old Sutherland was officiating in his 1000th career game.
Sutherland began his NHL career on December 19, 2000, when the Los Angeles Kings hosted the Atlanta Thrashers. The Richmond, British Columbia native has officiated 79 playoff games and three Stanley Cup Finals since then.
Both the Rangers and the Capitals presented Sutherland with gifts before his milestone game. Sutherland’s mother was in tears.
While Jaromir Jagr got all the headlines Thursday after scoring his 750th career goal, Alex Ovechkin quietly made some history of his own. In the third period, Ovechkin deflected a Matt Niskanen point shot past Roberto Luongo. The goal gave the Caps a 3-2 lead. After Marcus Johansson added an insurance goal late, the Caps defeated the Panthers 4-2.
Ovechkin’s goal would stand up as the game winner.
Former Capital Jaromir Jagr just hit a milestone against the Capitals. The 44-year-old Jagr became the third player of all time to score 750 career goals. The tally, Jagr’s second career goal on Braden Holtby, came after the Czech rifled a one-timer past the 2016 Vezina Trophy winner.
Tuesday night, Philipp Grubauer posted his first-ever shutout in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. While it was technically Braden Holtby’s night, Grubi proved himself to be a capable backup, stopping all 18 of the Avs’ shots. Grubauer’s efforts were later recognized in the locker room, where he was awarded the Will Over Skill robe.
Yes, you read that correctly. The WILL OVER SKILL robe.
Former Capital Mike Green just scored his first career hat trick on a historic night. During the Red Wings final home opener at Joe Louis Arena, Green scored a goal in each period, notching his first three-point night since March 8 against the Columbus Blue Jackets (three assists).
Photo: Len Redkoles
Monday night during Game Three, Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and tallied an assist on a John Carlson power play marker. The three points gave Ovechkin 74 in his postseason career, giving the Great Eight sole possession of the franchise lead. Ovechkin, who now owns almost every major Capitals record, has two more postseason points than the previous record-holder, Dale Hunter.
Hunter, a 19-year veteran and a successful junior hockey league bench boss, coached Ovechkin during the 2011-12 season. He also is the only Capitals captain to take the team to the Stanley Cup Finals.
This record must have meant a lot to Ovechkin, right?
Three-time Stanley Cup champion Justin Williams was honored Sunday night at Verizon Center ahead of his 1000th career NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks. Williams received a commemorative crystal from the NHL, a silver stick from the Capitals, and a Scottish golf vacation for two from the players. (A nodding Nicklas Backstrom looked particularly proud of that last one.)
Williams’ was joined on the ice by Caps owner Ted Leonsis and President Dick Patrick; players/scratches Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Brooks Orpik; and Williams’ adorable family — his wife Kelly, his daughter Jade, and his son Jaxon.
The Caps’ commemorative video was sweet. There were cameos from many of Williams’ former and current teammates including Alex Ovechkin (“It’s Ovi”) and Mike Richards. Williams’ family also submitted videos. Justin’s mother Denise poof’d her hair like her son did during the Caps team photo. Justin’s son Jaxon called his father his hero.
You guys, it finally happened. With the Caps 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues, Braden Holtby just tied Martin Brodeur’s single-season record for wins, a record Brodeur’s held for nine years. Holtby reached 48 wins in 12 fewer games than Brodeur, who was in attendance to see the feat.
The Capitals mobbed Holtby after the game to celebrate.
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