All the Caps’ First Goals

Posted May 5, 2020

A couple of weeks ago I asked Craig Laughlin if he remembered his first goal with the Capitals. He easily recalled his first NHL goal, but didn’t remember his first Caps goal, which came against his former team, Montreal, and was assisted by Dennis Maruk.

In the same game on Oct. 20, 1982, Caps defenseman Rod Langway – who arrived in Washington in the same trade as Laughlin – also scored his first goal with his new team. The odd part was that Langway’s goal came on the power play – though Langway wasn’t known to play on the man advantage. The game was a 3-3 tie.

While it’s true that the first goal with a new team usually isn’t as memorable to a player as his first NHL goal (which we published last year), I decided to make a database of them, just to see if anything interesting came out of it.

Stuff we found:

  • A total of 385 players have scored at least one goal for the Caps. Less than half – 173 – were by Caps who scored their first NHL goal, which are also listed in a separate database
  • The Caps are 216-129-32-5-3 (W, L, T, OTL, SOL) in games where the player scored his first goal (though this includes duplicates for when multiple players scored their first goals)
  • 124 players, not including goalies, played for the Caps but didn’t score a goal
  • Nick Jensen has played a team record 88 games with the Caps without scoring (he scored 6 with Detroit)
  • Mikhail Grabovski had three goals and an assist in his first game with the Caps
  • 39 players scored in their first game with the Caps
  • Alex Ovechkin has assisted on 20 first goals for Caps players
  • The last player added to this list was Ilya Kovalchuk

Check it out, and happy quarantine!

First Washington Capitals Goals