The 2010 Calder Cup championship team seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. Three representatives of the 2009-2010 Hershey Bears scored tonight in the Capitals’ 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils: Andrew Gordon, Jay Beagle, and John Carlson (in that order). At a time when the teams’ top players are dry on offense, it was a boost the Caps needed.
The youthful injection was visible from the start. The Caps’ younger Gordon scored at 16:41 into the game, a game that had little momentum or intensity until that moment. It was his first career NHL goal in his fifth career NHL game.
“It’s a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Gordon said, “I came here wanting to contribute and show I could do it up here. I’ve had a couple of opportunities the last few games but finally got a nice one to squeak through on a great pass.” Gordon later added an assist on Jason Chimera’s goal, recording the first multi-point NHL game of his career. Chimera reached a milestone on the play too, notching his 200th career point.
Beagle would be the next Bear to contribute. His goal came almost halfway through the game, at the 10:01 mark of the second period. It also felt good for Beagle to get a goal against Martin Brodeur, a player he grew up watching. “Marty, you know, he’s an intimidating guy,” Beagle said, “I saw him in warm-up, and grew up watching him, and to score on him was obviously a great thing.”
Carlson rounded out the Calder Cup Champion scoring for the evening with a goal at 16:31 of the second period. He was trailing Ovechkin when the captain was poke-checked, leaving the puck prime for Carlson to slap it passed Brodeur.
“I was actually just about to turn to the bench and get a change, and then he poke-checked it and I was like ‘Oh, wow, this looks good.’ So I really got to step into it. It felt pretty good to finally score, it’s been a little while now.”
The contribution was not lost on the rest of the team. Carlson said they noticed right away. “That’s what we were saying – lot of Bears on the board there.” He then smiled, turned a little toward Jay Beagle, and added, “It’s pretty cool to see my good friends really contribute tonight.”
Marcus Johansson had a particularly pretty assist on Gordon’s goal, and he also mentioned that the difference was Caps being able to get secondary scoring from unlikely sources.
“It’s good to have all the guys contribute,” Johansson said, “You can’t expect them to do it every day. It’s good to have other guys step in and contribute a lot. It was a good game for us, I think.”
Added Beagle, “When you get called up, you want to make the most of it. You just try to go out there every shift and work hard and lay it all on the line every night.”
“I thought they all played great,” Boudreau said, “They had lots of energy, they followed direction and they played with passion and enthusiasm. When you do that, usually, no matter what league you’re in you’re going to have success.”