On a night when the Washington Capitals scored three goals, two of which were on the power play, recorded a shutout and launched a whopping 40 shots on goal in a dominating performance, the single most stunning play was a hit in the first period that didn’t directly result in any scoring.
But after Dmitry Orlov’s devastating hip check of Matt Duchene elicited the most raucous cheer from the crowd and an enthusiastic reaction from Washington’s bench, the team responded with convincing win over the Colorado Avalanche.
“It started out with Orly’s hit, and then we started rolling after that,” T.J. Oshie said.
“It was amazing that he was able to stay on his feet there,” Oshie added. “Typically in that situation, if a guy goes down to a knee or gets a little low, it can get dangerous, but I think I’ve only see one replay when I was out there on the bench. My reaction was that it was a good hit. You hope Duchene doesn’t land funny there, which he didn’t. It was one of the cooler hits I’ve ever seen, that’s for sure.”
“Wow,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “You got the big whoop on the bench. That was a real clean hit, shoulder to sort of the midsection of the hit. He just lifted them. I know Dutchy from Team Canada, and he can fly. He got caught there, and he actually was up in the air a little bit, so good to see he didn’t get hurt or anything like that.”
Avalanche Coach Jared Bednar said he watched the hit and didn’t object to it. Duchene told reporters, “I don’t really want to talk about it because I’ll say something that might get me in trouble.”
When asked whether he thought Orlov was going for his knees, Duchene responded, “What did it look like?” Duchene was then asked whether he was physically all right when he landed, and he said, “I was fine, but you guys saw it, so I shouldn’t have to say too much about it.”
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said it was “obviously, a great hit.”
“Sometimes you didn’t think those kind of players are gonna have that kind of hits,” Ovechkin said. “It was a beauty.”