Jakub Vrana kept his breakout season going on Friday night, scoring the winning goal in an uneven effort against the Anaheim Ducks.
Vrana’s latest goal puts him in good company among league-leading scorers — with one big distinction.
The goal was the unlikely product of a dump-and-chase. Vrana sent the puck into the Ducks zone, but then Richard Panik’s forecheck forced a bad pass from below the goal line. Vrana seized it, cut to the slot, and recorded his 15th goal of the season against Ducks goalie Ryan Miller.
Vrana is now tied for most even-strength goals in the league.
Most even-strength goals in NHL this season.
1. (tie) Jakub Vrana 15
Leon Draistaitl 15
Brad Marchand 15
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) December 7, 2019
With 15 goals in 31 games, Vrana’s on pace (roughly) for 40 goals — something no non-Ovi Caps player has done in a full decade.
Jakub Vrana scores to give the Caps a 3-2 lead with his 15 of the year. Vrana is on pace to record 40 goals this season, and he’d become the first player outside of Ovechkin to record 40 goals since Alex Semin’s 40 in 2009-10.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 7, 2019
What’s even wilder: though Vrana is now ranked in the league’s top ten in goals overall, he’s doing it without any power-play help.
|Player||All Goals||PP Goals||PP Time|
Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau, 27, is doing the same, though his scoring seems to be driven by a shooting percentage nearly three times above this three-year average and two shorthanded goals. Vrana, meanwhile, has increased his five-on-five individual shot-attempt rate by 47 percent since last season.
Headline photo: NBC Sports Washington
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