Dmitry Orlov had one of the best games of his career Tuesday night.
The Russian defenseman scored three points in the Capitals’ 5-2 rout of the Minnesota Wild. It was a surprisingly rare offensive explosion for Orlov, who was first made famous by his dangling and powerful shot in the MHL and KHL.
Orlov’s first goal started off the scoring for both teams. After taking a pass from Lars Eller at the point, Orlov unleashed a slapshot from the left circle beating Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk. The SCOARLOV was Orlov’s first goal of the year.
With 28 seconds left in the first period, Orlov helped the Capitals strike again. Dangling past Matt Dumba, Orlov slid a pass to Tom Wilson crashing the crease. The Caps forward pushed the puck past Dubnyk to give the Caps a 2-0 lead. Wilson, staying true to his brand, also got a penalty on the play.
Orlov struck again in the third period. As Alex Ovechkin carried the puck in the offensive zone on a three-on-two odd man rush, Wilson skated hard to the net, opening up a passing lane for the Russian machine. Ovechkin sent a cross-ice pass to Orlov who rocketed a one timer past Dubnyk for his second tally on the night.
“[The Capitals are] opportunistic. Their skill is well known,” Dubnyk said after the game. “They don’t need many opportunities. You give them space like that, they got weapons. We certainly could have won it. I think we played well. But that’s a team when they get those, a lot of them are going to be in the back of the net.”
The three-pointing outing was Orlov’s first since March 15 against the New York Islanders. It was also Orlov’s first two-goal game since January 23, 2017, against the Carolina Hurricanes.
While Orlov (45.1 shot attempts percent) has struggled defensively at five-on-five early on the season, perhaps his big night on offense will give him confidence moving forward.
Atta boy, Snarls!
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