The Capitals traveled south on Friday for Game 4 of the 2018 preseason, as they faced the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Game recap here.) You can review the prospect grades for game 1 here, game 2 here and game 3 here.
This game 4 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. (Braden Holtby, Dmitry Orlov, Matt Niskanen, Jakub Vrana, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Chandler Stephenson and Lars Eller). If a prospect doesn’t have a summary below, there was nothing significant to report.
It should be noted that Carolina dressed a very experienced lineup for this game, including all six defensemen that are projected to be their starters on opening night.
The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals in game 4:
Another ragged game for the Capitals, who trailed 3-1 at the first intermission. A disjointed attack, wayward passes and untimely turnovers were, once again, the theme for the night. The Caps generated just 10 shots on goal through two periods of play, 18 for the game. The power play was a mess at the start of the game but settled down a bit as the game progressed.
Ilya Samsonov – Braden Holtby got the start and played the first two periods. Solid start to the third period for Samsonov, who had to face a power early in the period. Looked comfortable in the crease. Gave up a power play goal late in the period. A relatively mild test for Samsonov in this game. He stopped 6 of 7 shots he faced, 4 of 4 at 5-on-5. Grade: B
Madison Bowey – Looked a tad rusty. Made a turnover in the d-zone that led to a high-quality scoring chance, but Canes couldn’t finish. Bowey would try to make an ill-advised saucer pass in the defensive zone that was easily intercepted and nearly led to another Canes score in the second period. Looked good on the penalty kill. Next preseason game will be huge for Bowey. Grade: C
Aaron Ness – Beautiful no-look pass to Nicklas Backstrom for the Capitals first goal. Ness was relatively sound on the backend, but still lost a few pucks along the boards. Grade: B
Jonas Siegenthaler – Solid game for Jonas. Continues to be consistent on the backend with no blown assignments, solid board work and defensive zone clears. Is leading the Capitals in five-on-five ice time this preseason (34:09). Grade: B+
Shane Gersich – Very quiet game for Gersich. Showed some signs of an offensive surge late in the game, but didn’t generate much in the way of offensive chances. Had a nice Breakaway with Barber in the third period, but they couldn’t finish. Grade: C+
Travis Boyd – A quiet first period, but rallied in the middle frame through play with Riley Barber. No shots on goal for the game. He was 33% from the dot. Boyd needs to have a standout/statement game in the preseason, and so far he hasn’t had it. Still has some time. Grade: C+
Riley Barber – Had a quiet first period, but stepped it up in the middle frame, generating several chances with Travis Boyd. Barber’s play seemed to ignite the Capitals for a while in the middle frame. Had a nice breakaway with Gersich late. Played on the penalty kill. That’s back-to-back good games for Barber. He may be making a late push for a spot on the roster. Next game will be huge for Barber. Grade: B+
Liam O’Brien – Good game for O’Brien. Made a nice play in the neutral zone, drove to the net and dangled for a quality chance. Had another nice rush and chance early in the second period. O’Brien had 3 shots on goal for the game, tied for second most on the Caps. Had four hits in the game which was also tied for second most on the Caps. He had just 11:29 of ice time, the 3rd least amount of minutes for all forwards, behind Ikonen and Gersich. Grade B+
By Jon Sorensen