Three Takeaways From Capitals 4-3 Victory Over The Detroit Red Wings

Photo: x/@Capitals

The Washington Capitals defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 for their first preseason win of the year. Here are three things that stood out in Thursday’s contest:

Careless d-zone puck management

Though the Capitals had a few good chances in the first five minutes of the first period, the puck management in the defensive zone was poor. Rasmus Sandin and John Carlson struggled the most in that category. Early in the second period, that poor puck management cost them, when Lucas Johansen failed to get the puck out of the zone and Daniel Sprong capitalized on a partial breakaway.

There were less giveaways as the game went on, but it is still something the Caps need to clean up before the regular season.

The Capitals had 20 giveaways in the game.

Power play looks different

The Caps got their first power play of the game at the 15:47 mark of the first. It looked way different compared to years prior. Washington had two high-quality looks on its first man-advantage because of quick puck movement.

T.J. Oshie went from the bumper position to below the goal-line, switching with Nicklas Backstrom. Oshie fed the puck to Backstrom in the slot, but Alex Lyon came up with the pad save. Then a wide-open Oshie rang a backhand shot off the crossbar.

The Caps got another power play in the third period. They got more chances. Oshie and Backstrom continued to rotate spots and got more looks. The second unit came on the ice towards the end of the man-advantage and got rewarded. Hopefully the power play continues to pay dividends this season.

The kids come through

Rookie forwards Ivan Miroshnichenko and Andrew Cristall were very impressive in Thursday’s contest. Miroshnichenko especially looked strong. He was creating chances on the forecheck, playing physical and was rewarded with the secondary assist on the Backstrom goal. He also had a good scoring chance in the third, but Sebastian Cossa shut him down.

Though Cristall wasn’t as bullish as the Russian forward, he held up well in his first pro game. He had the primary assist on Sandin’s power-play tally in the third.

By Jacob Cheris

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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14 Responses to Three Takeaways From Capitals 4-3 Victory Over The Detroit Red Wings

  1. Old Man Walking says:

    I thought Lujo has cooked himself out of contention on the Dman front. Aktell and Iorio had so-so games. Good at times, not so good at others. I’ll give each of them more time before I jump to conclusions or either. (at times Sandin and Carlson didn’t look all that great either – they all need more time to tell).

    Miro and Cristall were very good. I hope we can see more of them before the pre-games are over.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Agree on your Lu Jo take

  3. Dave says:

    I’d be interested in hearing what other people thought but I thought Backstrom looked much smoother and better able to engage in the play.

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought he skated cleaner than he did last season. My only complaint about Backstrom is that he does not shoot more especially on the PP. I wonder in that might change under Carbery?

    • Prevent Defense says:

      Backstrom played a great game and is fully back-in-business after his innovative hip surgery.

      But don’t take it from me: Tune into Tom Wilson’s post-game commentary (Caps main website among other locations). He praises Backstrom’s play and announces “I’ll play on Backstrom’s line any day of the week.”

      • franky619 says:

        What else is he supposed to say? I’m really pissed he’s still here, Mac had the chance to buy him out this summer and make the team better but instead were gonna have to carry him all season and pretend he’s not hurting the team. Of course he’s gonna praise him. They all praised him last year also despite his big contribution to miss the playoffs.

        • DWGie26 says:

          I can only laugh at this. He was always going to try and come back and he was never going to be bought out. That would have been a bad move on many fronts. I know you want him gone and never wanted to give him a chance. He played really well. Maybe you should give him a chance because he is here.

  4. Prevent Defense says:

    One guy I left out: He played an excellent game, stormed the crease, finished a check, and was dangerous on a number of shifts, Connor McMichael

  5. DWGie26 says:

    Miro’s game has me excited to see him play in Hershey next year. Gotta let that man play in the AHL next year.

    Will be interesting to get a look at Suzdalev.

  6. Jonathan says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if another D Man will be coming to Wash eventually. Not sure if the current group has the talent to live up to Carbery’s standards. He’ll want to upgrade the group, and if he can’t do it this season, then before next.

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