After dropping their first preseason game to the Devils, Washington bounced back with a win at Montreal on Wednesday night. In addition to the win, Caps fans got to see Jakub Vrana‘s preseason debut. Vrana is projected by many to make the Capitals lineup on opening night, but Barry Trotz is making him earn it. Wednesday night, he made a good first impression.
Vrana was paired on the top line in Wednesday’s game with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Should Vrana make the opening night lineup, that line could likely be the second line to start the season.
“When playing with guys like this (Ovechkin and Kuznetsov) you gotta be confident on the ice with the puck, play fast and build some chemistry,” said Vrana.
Vrana wasted no time making a first impression on the coaches, scoring the second Capitals goal of the game in the first period on the power play, with a tough angle shot that just trickled off a Canadiens defender. It was hard to tell whether Vrana or Evgeny Kuznetsov had the goal but it was ultimately credited to Vrana.
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“It was actually a pass,” Vrana explained. “I saw Kuzy was skating to the net so I tried to hit him backdoor and it was deflected to the net. You get goals like this or you miss the net sometimes so it’s the hockey gods you know?”
The Capitals would go on to win the game 4-2 with a game-winning goal by Devante Smith-Pelly in the third period. Washington continues their preseason Friday night with their first home game as they welcome the St. Louis Blues.
By Michael Marzzacco