The Washington Capitals next-to-last tune-up game featured a pre-season rematch against the Boston Bruins. Phillipp Grubrauer got the start in net for the Capitals. The game also included a 3-on-3 overtime period as part of the NHL’s trial plan for the new overtime rule.
The game featured a true roster spot battle between Derek Roy and Chandler Stephenson for the second line center position. The two split time in the game at second-line center with the other taking the fourth line center position.
The Capitals first unit continues to struggle, particularly in the early going. Braden Holtby needed to get a good game under his belt and he did. The power play struggled early, but seemed to get a little more pressure in the later power plays. There was no clear winner in the Chandler Stephenson and Derek Roy battle for the center position. It could very well make it to Sunday, if Trotz wants more data. The Capitals penalty kill looked good and didn’t yield a goal. Finally, Trotz seems to be getting a better feel for the 3-on-3 overtime.
The Bruins struck first at 4:06, when Loui Eriksson got behind John Carlson and Nate Schmidt for two shots from point-blank range, with the second shot going in off of a late-arriving Carlson skate.
The Capitals had some difficulty getting the offensive pressure going, with only an early chance by Tom Wilson in the first 10 minutes of play. The Capitals went on the games first power play at the 10:56 mark for a cross-checking call on the Bruins Adam McQuaid. The Capitals had several chances but were unable to convert. The Capitals power play lines:
Liam O’Brien and Tyler Randell dropped the gloves at 15:32 mark. which was a rather uneventful fight.
Evgeny Kuznetsov had a breakaway with 2:00 minutes left, but was unable to stick it past Tuukka Rask. Other than that, a flat first period offensively for both teams.Tom Wilson and Kevan Miller dropped the gloves with 15 seconds left in the period.
The Bruins lead 7-5 in SOG, 15-10 in attempts, 13-12 in draws. Caps lead 13-7 in hits, after one period.
As expected, Braden Holtby started the second period in net for the Capitals. The Capitals had a little better offensive pressure early in the second period. T.J. Oshie drew a tripping call at the 5:13 mark, for the Capitals second power play. The Capitals were unable to convert as the Bruins kept the Caps on the perimeter for a majority of the two minutes. The Capitals went to their first penalty kill when Evgeny Kuznetsov was called for offensive zone interference at 7:38 of 2nd. Justin Williams had a short-handed break-away but was once again denied by Tuukka Rask. The Capitals killed the penalty, only allowing one Bruins shot. Derek Roy went to the 4th line and Chandler Stephenson moved to the second line at the 10:17 mark. The Capitals went back on the power play at 11:07 of the second on a Delay of game on Joe Morrow. The Capitals had a couple of chances but to no avail.
Following the failed power play, Tom Wilson and Marcus Johansson worked a break away, with Johansson launching a rocket from the left point, but Tuukka Rask made another nice block. The Capitals went back on the power play at the 15:02 mark, on a boarding call on the Bruins Brett Connally. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a nice backhander chance, stopped again by Rask. The Capitals had a good offensive push on this power play with 1:41 of zone time, and several quality chances, but were unable to convert. Late in the period, Tom Wilson had a tough hit into the boards and left the game.
The period ended with no score. Bruins lead 1-0.
The third period saw the return of Tom Wilson. Early on, Oshie blasted Adam McQuaid, which drew a fight between the two.
The Capitals went on the power play, but early in Tom Wilson and Kevan Miller went at it again.
Back to hockey. The Capitals continued to step up the offensive pressure midway through the period. The Bruins went on the power play with 5:36 remaining in the third, for a hooking call on Justin Williams. The Capitals successfully killed the penalty. Alex Ovechkin tied the game with a wrister with 2:34 left in regulation. Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie got the assists. The game would end 1-1 after regulation.
3-on-3 would decide this one, as it did 10 days earlier in Boston. The Capitals sent Karl Alzner, John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov out for the first line. Ovechkin quickly subbed to get two forwards on the ice for the Capitals. Jay Beagle got called for a hooking penalty with 1:04 remaining in the OT, giving the Bruins a 4-3 advantage for the remainder of the OT period. The Capitals killed the penalty. No scoring in the overtime period.
The shootout saw T.J. Oshie go first, who was able to score on a 5-hole shot. Spooner went for Boston and was stymied by Holtby. Evgeny Kuznetsov followed with a nifty deek and roofer for the goal. Boston failed on its next attempt and the Capitals won 2-1.