With the World Series-champion Washington Nationals on hand and celebrating their title, Jakub Vrana’s first career hat trick paced the host Washington Capitals to a 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night in D.C.
On a red-hot team, Vrana has been among the most prolific players, boasting a five-game point streak in which he’s collected six goals and three assists.
Goalie Ilya Samsonov made 25 saves in the win for the Eastern Conference-leading Capitals, who have won four straight and are on a 8-0-1 run, which includes two victories over the Flames.
After Calgary’s Andrew Mangiapane opened the scoring at the 5:40 mark of the first period by forcing a turnover and then burying a shot from the doorstep, Vrana took center stage.
Vrana, who scored twice in Friday’s game against Buffalo, netted his first of the night at 11:01 of the first period when he finished a perfectly executed two-on-one rush with Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Vrana gave the hosts their first lead with an unassisted tally at 15:08 of the period. After his team intercepted a clearing attempt, Vrana gained the puck in the left circle and slipped home a short-side shot.
Elias Lindholm’s 10th goal of the season with 1.6 seconds remaining in the opening frame evened the score again. Lindholm, who scored a career-high 27 goals last season, deflected the point shot to make it a 2-2 count.
However, Vrana potted his third goal of the game with 4:55 left in the second period to send the Capitals off to victory. Vrana was sprung on a breakaway and although denied on the first opportunity, cashed in the rebound for his ninth goal of the year.
Lars Eller’s power-play goal at 2:20 of the third period provided the insurance.
Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson collected two assists for the Capitals, while Alex Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet in his 1,100th NHL game.
Cam Talbot stopped 28 shots for the Flames, who were without forward Milan Lucic after he received a two-game suspension for an infraction during Saturday’s win in Columbus.
—Field Level Media