The Capitals headed north of the border Thursday evening for Game 3 of the 2018 preseason, as they faced the Montreal Canadians at the Videotron Center in Quebec City, Quebec. (Game recap here.) You can review the prospect grades for game 1 here and game 2 here.
The Capitals began roster trimming yesterday (9/19) essentially returning a half-dozen players to their junior teams in time for the opening of the CHL schedule this weekend. (More on roster cuts here.)
Thursday night’s lineup featured a couple of interesting opportunities for a few of the young prospects. Garrett Pilon centered the second line with Andre Burakovsky and Brett Connolly. In addition, Tyler Lewington was assigned top defensive pair duties with Michael Kempny.
The Capitals forward lines and defensive pairs for the third preseason game:
This game 3 review covers Capitals prospects (non-roster players), and does not include players who were on the Capitals roster at the end of the 2017-2018 season. (Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Andre Burakovsky, Brett Connolly, Michal Kempny, Brooks Orpik and Christian Djoos). Jayson Megna, 28, is not considered a “prospect”. If a prospect doesn’t have a summary below, there was nothing significant to report.
Not a lot of good things to report from the first third of this game. The Capitals defense was very porous, making numerous errors that lead to quality scoring chances for the Habs.
Pheonix Copley – Copley got the start in this one. Looked comfortable early, but gave up a glove-side tally after a blast from close range at 3:12 of the opening frame.
Copley would yield another early tally, this time on the blocker side. Both goals were assisted by defensive breakdowns in the Capitals defensive zone.
Copley would be beat a third time in the opening frame after a defensive zone turnover, this time high glove side.
Copley was beat for a 4th tally during a Caps line change. This was the 4th 2-on-1 goal for the Habs. Tyler Lewington was late getting back on the play.
All four of Copley’s goals were facing 2-on-1 rushes. He and the Capitals defense would settle down late in the middle frame. Copley made a nice save on another breakaway late in the middle frame. No real positioning issues in the game. He stopped 20 of 24 Shots he faced. Grade: C+/B-
Vitek Vanecek – Vanecek took over netmidning duties to start the third period. Looked comfortable in the crease, but like the previous game he played against the Bruins, he didn’t face a lot of shots (4). Gave up a goal midway through the final frame that was likely a deflection. Copley stopped 3 of 4 Shots he faced. Grade: B
Tyler Lewington – A decent game for Lewington. Played on the penalty kill. Was beat back on a play that led to the Canadiens 4th score of the night. No surprise, played a good physical game. Grade: B-
Tobias Geisser – Was out of position on the Canadiens second score of the game, but settled down as the game progressed. Grade C –
Connor Hobbs – was paired with Tobias Geisser. Scored a power play goal in the middle frame on a nice power wrister from the right circle. Solid game on the back-end as well. No real major defensive positioning goofs. Grade: B+
Garrett Pilon – Looks comfortable at game speed. Played on the penalty kill. Had a nice rush and close-range scoring chance in the first period but couldn’t finish from a tough angle. Grade: B
Beck Malenstyn – Played on the penalty kill. Was called for a high stick in the middle frame, otherwise a relatively quiet game for Malenstyn. Grade C
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby – An interesting 4th line assignment for this one. Played on the penalty kill again, and had two good chances on a P.K., but could not finish. Was pushed around a bit in play along the boards. Grade: B
By Jon Sorensen