The Capitals closed out the 2015-16 preseason with a dominating 6-2 win over the New York Islanders on Sunday evening. The Isles iced their B-squad players, making this final game an easy win for the home team.
The stars of the night were Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Oshie line and Washington’s special teams, as you’ll see below.
The Capitals announced their final roster cuts Monday morning. The most surprising dismissal was veteran center Derek Roy, who played well during training camp. With Jay Beagle announced as the team’s third-line center and Nicklas Backstrom potentially missing only four games, the Caps must have seen little upside keeping Roy around as a fourth-line center.
The Caps also cut forwards Liam O’Brien and Chandler Stephenson, defensemen Aaron Ness and Ryan Stanton, and goalie Justin Peters, who struggled mightily last year, from training camp. That means Philipp Grubauer will be Braden Holtby’s back-up this year.
As the Capitals PR team noted, Ness, Peters, and Stanton will all have to pass through waivers before joining the Hershey Bears in the AHL.
For those of you keeping track at home, that means forwards Chris Brown (who is injured), surprise-of-camp Sean Collins, and oft-criticzed Stan Galiev all remain on the roster, at least for now.
When TJ Oshie took the ice for the Caps’ final preseason game against the New York Islanders, he sported a shiner under his left eye and a cut on the bridge of his nose. His battle wounds were courtesy of Adam McQuaid’s fists on Friday night. McQuaid is the veteran of 43 NHL fights.
After reviewing photos from RMNB’s Amanda Bowen and social media, I can confirm that Ovechkin saw those “good hits in [Oshie’s] face.” Ovechkin and the Bruins’ Chris Kelly had front-row seats to the fight. Together they watched, arms wrapped around each other like they were taking Homecoming photos.
The story of the Capitals’ 2-1 shootout win over the Boston Bruins on Friday night wasn’t Alex Ovechkin’s game-tying goal with just two minutes left or the new skycam. It was the fights.
My favorite part was when the scraps resulted in three players from each team in the sin bin. TJ Oshie, Tom Wilson and Liam O’Brien taunted two raging Bruins, Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid, as David Pastrnak watched from behind them. It was one of those moments where you really wish they had a mic down there to record the conversations between detainees. They went on until the ref entered the Bruins box to have them sit down.
The game was the perfect introduction to the sport for the first timers who attended with me. Four fights, goals to tie it at one, three-on-three overtime, and a shootout win. You can’t get much better than that.
Here is what I captured in my first visit back to Verizon Center this season.
That wasn’t the only notable thing Oshie did. Midway through the game, according to @Canes_Gameday, the former Blue delivered a questionable hit to Joakim Nordstrom. That hit set off a small fracas, where the Canes’ Brad Malone tried to go after Oshie. Brooks Laich intervened and dropped the gloves with Justin Faulk.
I love Laich’s leadership here, but that face should not be punched.
The Washington Capitals traveled to Montreal tonight to play their third preseason game of the year. It wasn’t on local TV, but Twitter has us covered.
Caps captain Alex Ovechkin and new first-line right wing TJ Oshie scored their first preseason goals after two stunning plays. Oshie also scored on his backhand in the shootout, giving the Caps a 4-3 win.
On top of that, Burakovsky scored, Alex Semin did something weird again, and Oshie even got in a minor scrap.