With a group of reporters gathered around him, Cody Eakin couldn’t see the gaggle of teammates peeking at the rookie forward from another part of the dressing room following Washington’s 5-1 win over the Hurricanes on Friday night. He could hear their laughter as Alex Ovechkin snuck up and smashed a towel with shaving cream into his face, though.
It’s a Capitals tradition for players who hit career milestones and it never ceases to amuse the group.
Eakin, playing his second NHL game, recorded his first career point with a secondary assist on a second-period goal by Troy Brouwer at RBC Center. Then, in the third, he added his first career NHL goal, a pretty wrister that beat Cam Ward blocker side to put Washington up 4-1.
“I had no idea” the shaving cream was coming, Eakin said with a laugh. “I wasn’t even thinking about it. Eyes wide open, in the nose and mouth.”
After the past two training camps, when he was one of the last players cut, the 20-year-old Winnipeg native is happy to get off to a fast start.
“Obviously you want to have as good of a start as you can and not ease your way into it,” Eakin said. “You just kind of want to get into it. Things are not just going to come like that; obviously, there’s points of your game where you’ve got to learn and stuff. It’s faster and harder. I think the quicker you can learn and the faster you adjust the more success you’ll have.”
As for the man who initiated Eakin into the Capitals’ shaving-cream pie club, Ovechkin said he always enjoys seeing a teammate record an important goal.
“Yeah it’s fun,” Ovechkin said. “I didn’t see him celebrate like crazy but he’s going to be great player — he has unbelievable skill and you can see how easy he put puck in the net.”