Capitals Down Bruins, 5-4 (OT); Connor McMichael, Tom Wilson, Sonny Milano And John Carlson Score; Matthew Phillips Scores Overtime Game-Winning Goal

Photo: x/@Capitals

The Washington Capitals played their highest scoring affair thus far in their fourth exhibition slate against the Boston Bruins. It was the most eventful contest of the preseason, as the Caps prevailed 5-4 in overtime thanks to Matthew Phillips. Here is how it went down. 


It was a scoring parade in the first 20 minutes. 

26 seconds into the game, Connor McMichael got Washington on the board after John Carlson threw a soft puck on Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark. McMichael buried a juicy rebound on the backhand to give the Caps a 1-0 lead.

However, that lead would only last 27 seconds. On a 3-on-2 odd-man rush, David Pastrnak flipped a cross ice pass to James van Riemsdyk, who sniped a shot past Darcy Kuemper tying the game at one.

The Bruins caught the Capitals in transition which led to another odd-man break. Milan Lucic was the recipient of a Charlie McAvoy drop pass and quickly dished the puck to rookie defenseman Mason Lohrei, and he wristed one to the far-side of Darcy Kuemper, giving the B’s a 2-1 lead.

The Caps tied the game at two on the man-advantage thanks to some pretty passing. Nicklas Backstrom fed the puck down low to Evgeny Kuznetsov, who immediately threw the biscuit to Tom Wilson, riffling a one-timer past Ullmark.

The passing sequences didn’t stop there. Carlson broke up a play in his own zone and was in a 2-on-2 with Sonny Milano. Milano centered the puck to Dylan Strome who quickly fed it back to him at the near faceoff circle. Milano showed off some nifty stickhandling work, going forehand backhand top shelf over the glove side of Ullmark giving the Caps the lead back.

The Caps ended the period with the 13-6 advantage in shots.


The Bruins came out of the gate with two high quality chances off the rush. Luckily Kuemper came up large. Washington had a few high-danger chances of its own. McMichael had a great net drive and Anthony Mantha forced a turnover and got a shot off.

The Capitals went shorthanded for the second time in the contest, but killed it off. 

Milan Lucic tied the game at three after throwing a shot on the net that ricocheted off of Milano’s stick and over the glove of Kuemper.

The Capitals had numerous chances towards the end of the second period and controlled the majority of the 40 minutes. They also got their third man-advantage of the game, and 59 seconds carried over into the third. 


43 seconds into the final 20, Carlson gave the Caps a 4-3 lead on the remaining 59 seconds of the power play. Kuznetsov drew three Bruins’ penalty killers towards him and Carlson wired one from the point. The puck deflected off of Lohrei and went through Ullmark’s five hole.

The Caps failed to hold the lead for a sustained period of time. Matthew Poitras drove in front of the crease and tucked it past Kuemper, evening the game at four.


The Capitals had all the chances in overtime. Wilson thought he had scored but the puck was on Ullmark’s backside on the line. McMichael also had a glorious chance. Towards the tail end of the extra session, Phillips had enough and danced around Pastrnak and ripped one over the blocker side of Ullmark ending the game. 


The Capitals travel to the Buckeye State to faceoff against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday Oct. 5 at Nationwide Arena. 

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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13 Responses to Capitals Down Bruins, 5-4 (OT); Connor McMichael, Tom Wilson, Sonny Milano And John Carlson Score; Matthew Phillips Scores Overtime Game-Winning Goal

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mantha and NAK were awful again. Glad to see they got fewest minutes. Need to rid ourselves of both to open spots for younger players.

  2. Prevent Defense says:

    Enjoyed the heck out of this game! Caps were all over Boston. Had the initiative the whole night. Gave up some goals early – defensive breakdowns. All the guys who are supposed to $ukk were excellent. Backstrom is all the way back and was DEALING. So was Kuznetsov. Kuzy was five steps ahead of BOS all night, and put on a CLINIC during 3-on-3 overtime.

    Tom Wilson scored, Milano made a highlight-reel goal. Anthony Mantha made a superb steal, hit the goalpost twice and [despite nasty boo-bird invective] played an excellent two-way game. McMichael was just plain excellent all game long. And the diminutive Mr. Phillips just made the Caps roster. So did Hardy Aktell.

    BOS may have gotten 135 points last season … But this season they are not one stitch better than the Caps. Good for GMBM and Spencer Carbery. None of the other Eastern Conference teams are appreciably better than the Caps, and several are demonstrably worse. Bring on the Regular Season.

    Let’s see … Caps outshot BOS 41-20. Got two powerplay goals and the powerplay was humming. Penalty kill was excellent. Won a bunch of faceoffs despite road-game conditions. Commentator Laughlin described it most accurately: Boston was chasing the Caps all night. Without the two early defensive breakdowns it’s 4-2 Caps — at least. Was hard to find a Cap who didn’t play well. —- I figured the boo-birds would be flinging their poop again tonight. Wasn’t disappointed

    • Anonymous says:

      It was a pre season game so don’t look at it to hard and think this is what will happen 82 times during the season. Sad to say but most publications DO NOT agree with you in that “But this season they are not one stitch better than the Caps. Good for GMBM and Spencer Carbery. None of the other Eastern Conference teams are appreciably better than the Caps, and several are demonstrably worse. Bring on the Regular Season.” as they are picked to finish 5-7in their division. And their Power Ranking in the whole NHL is 23 -27th. The Bruins are going to be better than you saw last night and there should be a tough fight at the top between them, Buffalo, Tampa, Florida and possible Ottawa. I don’t put a lot of stock in what happens in pre season as it is a time to look at a lot of players and try different lines. Yes they got the vistory last night but does it mean anything come March…NO!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Gotta figure Phillips has made the opening night roster.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who does he replace? Which ine? And how much time, if he makes
      d the team, does he spend as a healthy scratch until Mantha sits as one?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was so impressed tonight. The style was exciting, and it looked like the boys were having some fun.

    Philips’s story is just beginning — I’m here for the ride.

    Backy was silky smooth and skating well.

    On a sour note: NAK looked rough, and Mantha just has to go. If there wasn’t a history of uninspired, disinterested play from Mantha already, I could have forgiven the empty net.

    Joe B and Locker have a tough job justifying him every night.

  5. Lance says:

    Ovie — supercool
    Oshie — supercool
    Milano — shows promise, jury is out
    Strome — solid 2C
    Backstrom — not sure what 19 has left
    Protas — solid all over the ice, not gonna do much on O
    McMichael — looks like a top 6 forward
    Dowd — solid
    Mantha — I’m not seeing it. Head isn’t in the game. 
    Wilson — supercool
    Phillips — looks like a scoring top 6 winger
    Malenstyn — hard-nosed, strong character
    Kuzy — fun to watch usually, 2C — all O no D
    Aube-Kubel — plays hard every shift
    lorio — bright future, might be best to play in Hershey this year
    Aktell — looks like an NHLer to me, even flashes some good O
    Rasmus Sandin — solid top 4 LD…needs D help from partner
    Lucas Johansen — Nope, I don’t see it
    TVR — solid, bottom pair RD
    Carlson — looks good out there, don’t overuse him this year please
    Alexeev — looked good at times last year, didn’t look good the other night
    Jensen — good bottom pair RD, iffy in the top 4
    Kuemper — solid, needs guys to play defense in front of him

    I’m excited to watch the Caps this year. I’m cheering for McMichael and Phillips and Aktell.

    Playoffs? Maybe we’ll sneak in. Should be more fun to watch this year. I want to see a team no one wants to play against even if we fall short of making the playoffs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jury is still out on Milano???

  7. Anonymous says:

    I know that Kuemper didn’t get much help on those first two goals but a goalie has to stop at least one of those.  He could see both shots clearly.  If I’m an opponent I’m going to try to set up that shot all night against him.  

  8. Anonymous says:

    All the boo birds act like there is no salary Cap, nor have any concern for any human element. The whole league, including the Caps are aware of Anthony Mantha. We tried to get rid of him, nobody wanted him. If we dumped him this year, we have the Anthony Mantha issue for another year. There is also a $2 million bonus Claus for next year, if Pacioretti plays 20+ games. That would equate to $2.85 + $2.0 = $4.85 hit, next year.(buying out Mantha and Max hitting his bonus)

    Now, when you realize the salary Cap, the Caps have a lot of restrictions. Despite what many think, the Caps are still a playoff contender. Just like any team, many things need to go right, especially health. With all that being said, GMBM did a heck of a job this off-season. From Phillips, Aktell, McMichael, (handled him just brilliantly), Protas, Malenstyne, AA, Limoges, the Caps have under $1 million who seem to all play above their pay, and everyone of these guys are young. It’s exactly what the Caps needed, and it didn’t cost anything.

    Sandin and Milano are looking quite fantastic right now, also young.

    GMBM did not mortgage the future, and has the Caps in quite an optimistic position. The best thing for the Caps, if Mantha can get back to his old self, but he is going to have to earn that 2nd line wing. If the Caps get back into the playoffs, and are healthy and playing strong at the time, buckle up for the ride. If not, the Caps could be looking at several trade chips including Pacioretti, Mantha, (if all goes well and he shows something), Oshie, Kuzy, … We, as Caps fans need the best especially from those trade chips. Kuzy is the main key, and so far, he seems ready..we know what he is capable of, and I think it was just an attitude adjustment now having the right coach. (Yes, seems a bit ridiculous, but it’s what we have…if it’s in the past, who cares…just 1 or 2 more years left)

    We missed out on someone like Debrincat by 1 year, as next year, we could be looking at a nice chunk of change to maneuver with, as a backup plan. No reason we have to tank for 5 years to rebuild.

    The future looks bright – Let’s Go Caps!

  9. novafyre says:

    The Hershey Bears (0-1-0-0) opened their 2023 preseason schedule with a 3-0 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (2-0-0-0) on Wednesday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena. Shots finished 26-20 in favor of the Penguins. Bjorklund took the loss after going 16-for-17, while Gibson went 7-for-9 in relief.

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