TAMPA, Fla. | Karl Alzner, goal-scorer. Well, at least he was Tuesday night upon scoring his first in 87 games.
“The shot’s there a lot of times,” the Washington Capitals defenseman said. “It’s just up to us to get it through and it was a good screen, lucky shot.”
Alzner isn’t known for his offense. He has a grand total of 12 shots this season and had 56 all last year.
“It was kind of fluky how it all went according to plan, but I’m happy it did,” he said.
Call it a lucky shot, call it a fluke for a guy with five NHL goals to his name.
“It better not be fluky,” coach Adam Oates said. “It’s a shot from 30-feet out with no screen. You’ve got to be good enough to make that shot.”
Alzner wasn’t just prepared, he called for the puck.
“It’s one of those things that the puck kind of goes in between and you don’t know if the D should go get it or the forwards should go get it,” he said. “So I was just telling them ahead of times that if the puck was in circle, bump it back, if it’s out of the circle, leave it. And [Eric Fehr] made the perfect play, [Joel Ward] won the draw. It worked out well.”
The 24-year-old defenseman said he had a similar opportunity Saturday night against the Florida Panthers, but the shot didn’t make it all the way to the net.
Even if the shot Tuesday didn’t hit the net, Oates likes that Alzner isn’t afraid to try.
“You’re not necessarily shooting to score a goal,” he said. “It’s great that it went in but he’s shooting there to give us an offensive threat. We executed a faceoff, he got a little room and I expect my defensemen to be able to shoot that puck. You know what, everybody’s involved in everything. That’s the message, you can’t be one-dimensional in this game and survive.”