The Washington Capitals made their first trip to Brooklyn on Monday to take on the Islanders in their new home at the Barclays Center. The Capitals entered the game with a pre-season record of 2-0-1. The Brooklyn trip marked the third of four straight road games for the Capitals, who will close-out their pre-season road work this Wednesday in Raleigh.The Capitals return for home cooking on Friday when they take on the Bruins at Verizon Center.
The Islanders new home has drawn some criticism for its quirky hockey configuration, which was originally designed for basketball. Unique features include an off-center video board, numerous obstructed view seats, short benches that require back-up goaltenders to sit apart from the teams, and an end of the arena that is void of ice-level seats (left side in photo below).
NoVa Caps asked Capitals radio announcer John Walton if there was any perceived advantage/disadvantage to the side with no seats with regards to sight lines and/or crowd interactions. John said he thought the goalies might be most affected, (if anybody), “sight-lines no doubt different”. He is planning to check with the goalies on Tuesday. Regardless, the Coliseum is closed and we are off and running at the Barclays. Capacity for hockey at Barclays is a scant 15,575.
With less than a week to go in the pre-season, this game marked the final chance for some of the “bubble players” to make their mark. John Carlson and Jason Chimera were the healthy scratches for this one. The lines for the game:
Phillipp Grubauer started in net.
Derek Roy was moved to wing for this game, leading one to believe a decision may have been reached regarding the 3C position. Phillipp Grubauer had a good period and half of play, stopping all 13 shots he faced. Justin Peters also had a good game, stopping three good Islanders’ chances during the first power play he faced. Dmitri Orlov played in his third pre-season game tonight, and looks ready to go, but did make a couple of defensive blunders. Tom Wilson drew two penalties tonight, the second leading to a goal, which was very reminiscent of his early season success in drawing penalties last year. Andre Burakovsky got his second goal in as many games.
A sluggish start for both teams. The Capitals Aaron Ness was called for interference on ex-Capital Mikhail Grabovski for the games first penalty at the 14:14 mark. The Capitals were able to successfully kill the Ness penalty, as the Islanders were unable to generate much pressure. Liam O’Brien dropped the gloves with Islanders Scott Mayfield, both receiving five minutes for fighting at 9:09. Tom Wilson drew a hooking penalty from the Islanders Scott Mayfield at 1:51, giving the Capitals their first power play. The Caps were unable to get much started on the power play, with little offensive push, as the period ended 0-0. Isles were up 10-8 in SOG, 16-12 in attempts, 22-11 in hits and 11-8 in draws.
The second period started with a similar pace to the first period, but at 2:48 mark, Sean Collins gathered a rebound and punched it in, giving the Capitals a 1-0 lead. (John Walton’s call can be heard here) Stanislav Galiev made a nice play from neutral ice to spring Carter Camper on the breakaway that led to Capitals goal. The Capitals quickly went on the power play, but the Isles were able to kill the Zidlicky minor. Carter Camper was called for tripping at 5:37, but the Caps were successful in killing the Camper penalty. Andre Burakovsky drew a trip to send the Capitals back on the power play at 8:36 of 2nd period. The Capitals developed a little pressure at the end of the power play but were unable to convert. Moments after the teams returned to full strength, the Capitals Chris Bourque was called for hooking at 10:49. Justin Peters replaced Phillipp Grubauer in goal for the power play. The Capitals were able to kill off the penalty, as Peters made several nice stops. The teams settled down on the penalties and the play. The period ended 1-0, Capitals. Isles still leading in shots (19-14), attempts (36-27), hits (30-19) and draws (19-11).
The third period started with an early chance for the Islanders. Madison Bowey was strong-armed and lost the puck in the defensive zone, but the Islanders were unable to convert. Jay Beagle had an early shot on goal but was stopped by Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss, who went the distance for New York in this one. Tom Wilson drew another penalty, this time a charging penalty on Eric Boulton at 6:18 of the third. On the power play, Andre Burakovsky scored his second goal of the pre-season, a rocket from the right circle at 7:39. Tom Wilson and Derek Roy got the assists. The Islanders pulled their goal tender and were able to convert, making it 2-1, but Karl Alzner would add an ENG with under a minute to play to wrap up the victory. Capitals beat the Islanders, 3-1.