The Washington Capitals prospects faced the Tampa Bay Lightning prospects in round two of the Rookie Tournament on Sunday evening. The Capitals lost in a shootout 2-1 to the Florida Panthers yesterday. The Lightning beat the Predators prospects 5-1 last night. Free Agent Goalie Taran Kozun (Seattle WHL) got the start in net for the Capitals prospects. Lines were essentially the same with a few minor tweaks:
Offensive Lines: Vrana-Stephenson-Barber, Herbert-Boyd-O’Brien, Walker-Koules-Elgestal, McGauley-Cox-Deblois.
Defensive Pairings: Siegenthaler-Bowey, Djoos-Lewington, Basso-Hobbs. Kozun in goal, Backup was Vanecek. Scratches: Texeira, Gibb, Wilson.
The Capitals offensive work was much more in sync tonight. Crisper passing, with more organization and controlled offensive zone play. Players of the game: Madison Bowey, 1 goal, 1 assist, Jakub Vrana, 1 goal. Connor Hobbs (second of the tournament), Nathan Walker and Liam O’Brien also scored goals for the Capitals. Free Agent invitee Taran Kozoun had a good game in net as well.
Tampa Bay had two early power plays with no goals. Midway through the first period, Capitals Jakub Vrana opened up the scoring with a great move on a partial breakaway from the neutral zone, blowing by Blujus, who can skate, then went blocker side on Wilcox to make it 1-0 at the 10:48 mark. Madison Bowey and Chandler Stephenson were credited with the assists. The Capitals killed a third Tampa Bay power play on a late minor on Connor Hobbs, ending the first period 1-0. The Lightning lead in shots 11-10.
Capitals stepped up the pressure in the offensive zone early in the first period. Connor Hobbs scored his second goal of the tournament off an offensive-zone draw to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead at the 3:31 mark. Alex Basso and Caleb Herbert were credited with the assists. Madison Bowey scored the Capitals 3rd goal on a fake pass to the left dot, and shot from center point, beating Wilcox on a power play to make it 3-0 Capitals at 8:20 mark of the 2nd. Travis Boyd and Tim McGauley were credited with the assists. Three of four Capitals goals in the tourney have come from the blueline. Later in the period, already on the penalty kill, Chandler Stephenson was called for hooking at the 13:21 mark giving the Lightning a 5 on 3 for about 100 seconds of play, but the Capitals were able to successfully kill both penalties. Caps went on the power play at the 18:40 mark but were unable to cash in before the second period expired.
The Capitals continued to press on offense to start the 3rd period. Liam O’Brien hit a post early in the period. Trevor Cox also hit a post all by the 4:40 mark of the period. The Wizard of Auz, Nathan Walker made it 4-0 with a wrist shot from the slot on a low-high play. Great pinch by Jonas Siegenthaler led to the Walker goal at the 5:00 mark of the third. Caleb Herbert also made a nice initial pass. The Capitals killed yet another penalty mid-way through the third period. At the 10:41 left mark. Capitals led in shots 28-20. Late in the 3rd period, the Lightning went on a 4 minute power play, this time for a spearing call on the Capitals. The Bolts scored with :03 left on Stephenson double minor to make it a 4-1 game with 2:42 left in third. With 1:10 left. Shots 31-25, Capitals. The Lightning added another by DiGiacinto late in the 3rd period to make it 4-2. Liam O’Brien added a an empty net goal for the Capitals with 3.7 left in the game.
As noted yesterday, in addition to the regulation three 20-minute periods, each game in the Rookie Tournament will conclude with a shootout, regardless of the score after regulation. Djoos, Hobbs, Basso, Siegenthaler, O’Brien all took shots, all unsuccessful. Capital won 5-2. The Capitals are off tomorrow (Monday), and wrap-up the tournament on Tuesday morning against the Predators.