NEW YORK – Mike Green of the Washington Capitals scored for a seventh straight game, tying the NHL record for defencemen Wednesday night.
Green added another later in the second period against the New York Rangers, giving him two consecutive two-goal games and six multipoint games in a row.
“Things just seem to be rolling lately,” Green said after Washington’s 5-4 shootout loss. “Hopefully it can keep going. It feels pretty special. I honestly didn’t even realize (the record) until yesterday. I tried not to think about it before the game, but I’m pretty happy right now.”
Green, who has 21 goals in 42 games this season, took a cross-ice pass from Alex Ovechkin, drifted just inside the right circle, and snapped a hard wrist shot under the crossbar behind Henrik Lundqvist to give the Capitals a 3-2 lead 10:32 into the second.
With the Capitals trailing 4-3 with less than a minute left in the frame, Green skated along the right-wing boards and sent a rising shot past Lundqvist to tie it.
“If you don’t shoot, you’re not going to score,” Green said. “Right now, if it’s on my stick, I’m shooting it. I really feel really good and I’m going to take a shot if I have it.”
With the seven-game goal streak, Green matched the NHL record for defenceman set by Boston’s Mike O’Connell in 1983-84 when he finished with 18 goals. No defenceman had scored in six consecutive games since Boston’s Ray Bourque, also in 1983-84.
This is the sixth time an NHL defenceman has scored a goal in at least six consecutive games.
Green has nine goals and seven assists during his run. As soon as he saw his first shot beat Lundqvist, he slammed the glass in celebration near the right corner of the New York zone. He struck the glass at the end of the ice after the second goal.
“I was pretty excited,” he said. “It was frustrating there. I had some chances in the first period, and I finally got one by him. I don’t know if you’ve seen my reaction, but I was pretty jacked.
“It was anger, emotion, happy, sad. I was pretty wound up.”
Green leads NHL defencemen in goals and points (49), and is third in scoring on the Capitals, despite missing 13 games due to injury this season. He has already set a career high in goals and has scored the most by a Washington defenceman since Sergei Gonchar had 26 in 2001-02.
No Capitals player has ever led NHL defencemen outright in scoring during a season. Gonchar came the closest when he tied for the top spot with 59 points seven years ago.