By Buster Williams
The Washington Capitals kicked off the 2018 preseason on Sunday, falling 2-1 to the Bruins via a shootout. The game certainly had an exhibition feel, as both clubs fielded young teams which will look vastly different on opening night in D.C. The Caps dressed only six veteran players (three of which posted the only points of the day for the Caps).
Caps’ Backup Goaltenders Looked Strong
Phoenix Copley started in net for the Capitals, stopping 21 of the 22 shots he faced in 32:05 of ice time. Vitek Vanecek followed up by stopping all 12 shots that came his way, while playing 32:55. Vanecek allowed a goal to Danton Heinen in the first round of the shootout, which turned out to be the winning goal, as none of the three Caps were able to find the back of the net. Overall, it was a strong performance from Washington’s young goaltenders.
The Capitals lone goal came from Brett Connolly, as he tied the game at one at 17:25 in the second period. The goal was assisted by Andre Burakovsky and Christian Djoos, as they displayed some nice passing in the Bruins’ zone to set up Connolly’s wrister. The Capitals had ample opportunity to win the game late, including 55 seconds worth of a 5-on-3, but were unable to get the puck past Boston goaltender Zane McIntyre.
Ovi At Redskins
Alex Ovechkin did not dress for the first exhibition game, as he was named an honorary Captain for the Washington Redskins in their home opener against the Indianapolis Colts. Ovechkin was joined by fellow Russians Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. Arguably the loudest cheer of the day at that football game came when Ovechkin was announced and walked to midfield to participate in the coin toss. He sported a custom #8 Redskins jersey and was joined by a 16-year-old cancer survivor, who was named co-captain for the day.
The Caps will be back on the ice Tuesday evening in D.C., in a rematch against Boston. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM. All preseason games will be carried via WashingtonCaps.com and Caps Radio 24/7, with selected games to be broadcast on 106.7 The Fan.