It may have taken 25 games, but Dmitry Orlov got his first NHL goal early in the third period Sunday night and it stood as the game-winner in Washington’s 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
“I only have positive emotions,” Orlov said, through Dmitry Chesnokov who served as an interpreter. “Of course I was a little bit lucky on that goal but I’m happy it went in. I’m also happy that this was a game-winning goal because we as a team we need to get the points, especially in the tight and difficult games like this.”
The tally was a hustle play for the 20-year-old Russian, as he drove the net to follow up a bouncing shot by Jason Chimera. Orlov was positioned perfectly by the goal line to swat the puck between the left post and Carolina goaltender Cam Ward to make it 2-1.
“We were skating three-on-two and I was expecting a pass. But at the same time [Jason Chimera] sort of chipped the puck over and I was waiting for a rebound. And it wasn’t a rebound,” Orlov said. “The puck landed in my skate and on my stick and I just shot the puck off of the guy’s back. It was a very weird angle; it felt like I was almost behind the net when it happened. This is the way it played out.”
It might not have been the most picturesque or highlight-reel worthy goal, but after a few good looks that missed the target this year Orlov is relieved to finally record his first goal.
Orlov has been billed as an offensive defenseman since he was drafted by the Capitals in 2009. Through 25 games, he has one goal and six assists but the coaching staff maintains that as Orlov’s comfort level increases so will his offensive output.
So far, Orlov hasn’t looked out of place in adjusting to the NHL in his first full season in North America and if his scoring touch is coming around all the better for Washington.
“I was a little bit worried about it, sort of anxious,” Orlov said about waiting to get his first goal. “I was waiting for this moment to come, it finally came today and I’m extremely happy that it happened today and that I finally scored my first NHL goal.”