Without injured wingers Andre Burakovsky and Brett Connolly in the lineup, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz inserted bottom-line forward Devante Smith-Pelly into the top six Saturday night in Edmonton.
“I think he deserves it,” Trotz said to The Washington Post before the game explaining the decision. “He’s put in the work. I think his game is such that he needs to move up in the lineup. We need to be a little more productive right through our lineup, and he’s a guy that’s just staying on task.”
Smelly scored in the first period.
— Washington🎃Capitals (@Capitals) October 29, 2017
The Capitals, who were getting walloped and down 2-0 early, seemed to find their sea legs after this DSP goal. It came with 18 seconds remaining in the first period.
The goal was started by a heads up play by defenseman John Carlson who forced a turnover at neutral ice from Oscar Klefbom.
Carlson skated the puck down the right wing and then sent a no look pass to Smith-Pelly. The winger went to one knee, like TJ Oshie, and knocked a one timer past Cam Talbot.
Here’s another look.
The goal was DSP’s first goal as a Capital and his first since March 4, 2017, ending a 13-game scoreless streak. Cam Talbot was appropriately mad.
Carlson, who is basically skating 30 minutes a night every night, now has points in 7 of his last 10 games.
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