It’s probably unlikely that anyone would have expected that 20 games through the 2011-12 season the Washington Capitals’ leading goal scorer would be Jason Chimera.

But after his two-goal performance in the 4-3 overtime win against Winnipeg pushed his season total to eight tallies, that’s precisely where Chimera stood among his teammates. On Wednesday night, the 32-year-old winger was asked where the offensive outburst is coming from.

“I’ve just always had it, was just going to wait until my late or mid-30s to get it going, you know,” Chimera joked. “I don’t want to peak too early. I want to keep playing until I’m 45 so hopefully I keep on getting better.”

Chimera recorded 10 goals and 26 points in 81 games last season, and this year he’s already reached eight and 13, respectively, through 20 games. His success to start this season has led to jokes that perhaps Chimera should have waited to sign his two-year, $3.5 million contract extension, which he inked in late September.

“He’s been great. He’s been engaged,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He’s on one of those rolls….He had 10 last year. I’m pretty happy for him because he’s a guy that comes, he works every day he’s always got a smile on his face and he keeps the team loose. It’s always good to see good things happen to good people.”

Chimera skated on a line with Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin against the Jets given that Joel Ward was scratched after he overslept and missed a team meeting earlier in the week. Usually, though, Chimera is paired with Laich and Ward to create what Boudreau famously referred to as the “meat and potatoes” line that has been an effective checking unit and has created steady offensive production.

“A lot of credit to my linemates,” Chimera said about his start. “I’ve been playing with Brooks and Semin tonight, but I think most of all with Joel Ward. I think we’ve been doing a good job of getting pucks. Sasha played a great game for us tonight it was nice to see him rebound with a good effort.”