Nic Dowd is having a career year despite there being 31 percent less games than a normal season.
On Monday, the fourth-line center reached double digits in goals for the first time after beating Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin five-hole.
The 30-year-old buried a wrist shot coming off a two-on-one rush to open the scoring up for the Capitals 6-3 win over the Rangers.
Dowd also contributed an assist on Garnet Hathaway’s game-tying goal making this his second multi-point game this year and seventh in his career.
What is luvvvvvvvv pic.twitter.com/Pcrjsb4qWE
— x – Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 4, 2021
According to the Capitals PR, the Caps are 7-1-1 in games where Dowd scores a goal this season.
Dowd also set another career-high on Monday while flirting with two others. Dowd skated a career-high of 21:25 minutes against the Rangers. It was the second time he’s played over 20 minutes in a game in his career. He previously got 20:14 TOI on March 15 against Buffalo. The only other Capitals’ forwards to skate in over 20 minutes multiple times this season are Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and TJ Oshie.
Dowd is currently averaging 14:27 of ice time per game this season. His previous high came in 2016-17 with 12:27.
He’s also on pace to demolish his personal-best faceoff win percentage in a full season. The forward currently has 55.9 face-off win percentage, which is four percent higher than his career-best of 51.9 that he set in 2018-19 – his first year in Washington. Dowd ranks ninth in the NHL in faceoff percentage among skaters who have taken 700 faceoffs or more.
Ever since Dowd was signed as a free agent by the Capitals in July 2018, he has produced career highs in every category but assists.
Dowd skated a career-high 21:25 against the Rangers. Dowd entered tonight’s game logging 14:18 time on ice per game played this season, which is nearly two minutes more than his previous career high (2016-17: 12:27).
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) May 4, 2021
“To be relied on and to have that responsibility is everything you can ask as a hockey player,” Dowd said about his record-breaking season. “Lavy came in at the end of last season and said this will be our role as a line and I think the better we played the more he gave us and we embraced that.
“It’s been a ton of fun as supposed to some of my last years playing hockey where it’s been challenging to get going in games and when you’re going it doesn’t feel like your getting that reward of continual play and extra ice time,” he continued. “It’s tough to continue going when you have those challenges and you know nothing is going to change. Whereas this year Lavy was very upfront with us from the beginning. I look forward to playing every night.”
Dowd hit another milestone this season playing in his 300th game the same night fans returned to Capital One Arena. He led the team that night with four shots on net and seven shot attempts.
Dowd has scored several ugly-beautiful goals this season, including a turnaround water-bottler against the Islanders, a sensational pinging wrister against the Bruins, and an empty-netter against the Flyers from behind the Capitals’ goal line.
Dowd was originally a seventh-round pick in the 2009 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. According to Dobber Prospects, only 5.5 percent of seventh-round picks go on to play more than 99 games in the NHL.
Not only is Dowd bucking that trend, but he’s also becoming one of the most reliable players on one of the top teams in the league. That’s not bad for a wagon.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.