The Washington Capitals kick off the preseason on Sunday with a matinee contest against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Washington at 1 PM. The Capitals swept the Bruins in the regular season last year and have won 12 consecutive meetings with Boston.
Only five Capitals who dressed in Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights on June 7, when the team hoisted the franchise’s first Stanley Cup, will dress on Sunday: forward Jakub Vrana, forward Brett Connolly, forward Andre Burakovsky, center Chandler Stephenson, and defenseman Christian Djoos.
Capitals’ 2018 first-round pick Alexandar Alexeyev, who was selected 31st overall, is slated to make his Caps debut. Other notable players suiting up for the Caps on Sunday include defenseman Madison Bowey, forward Shane Gersich, forward Nathan Walker, center Nic Dowd (team’s only free agent acquisition), defenseman Jonas Seigenthaler, defenseman Martin Fehervary (Capitals’ second-round pick in 2018), and defenseman Aaron Ness.
GAME NOTES: The Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals take on the Boston Bruins to open up the preseason tomorrow at TD Garden. The Caps haven’t lost to the Bruins in the regular season since March 29, 2014, giving them 12-straight wins against Boston. https://t.co/4bDCaEKVg5 pic.twitter.com/sp6N7LqjRT
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) September 16, 2018
Head coach Todd Reirden told reporters on Saturday that goaltenders Pheonix Copley and Vitek Vanecek will share the net in Beantown. Each netminder will play 30 minutes. Copley will start the game for Washington.
The team is scheduled to fly up to Boston on early Sunday morning.
Reirden said that the Capitals’ lineup for Sunday’s matinee will be an inexperienced one.
Reirden said Caps will dress an “inexperienced” lineup in Boston Sunday, but “guys that deserve that opportunity.”
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) September 15, 2018
Half of the Bruins’ roster (and many of their regulars) played in the NHL China Games against the Calgary Flames early Saturday morning, so the team is expected to dress mostly young players against the Capitals. The NHL has given a waiver to the teams to dress a minimum of six “veteran” players for the game (NHL rules usually require a minimum of eight veteran players in preseason contests) since a lot of the Bruins’ veterans went to China.
#Caps preseason opener in Boston is less than 48 hours away. Normally, road team must dress eight *veteran* players for exhibition games. Because B’s have half squad half the rock away in China for tilts vs Flames, rule has been relaxed. Caps need bring only six vets on Sunday.
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) September 14, 2018
The two teams begin the front end of a home-and-home series. The Bruins will follow the Capitals home for a Tuesday night rematch at Capital One Arena.
By Harrison Brown