The Washington Capitals opened their season with a resounding 7-0 win against the Boston Bruins, in an evening that also featured a rapturous pre-game ceremony highlighted by the raising of the team’s first Stanley Cup banner.
The 30-minute ceremony included a video montage of the team’s journey to winning the Cup, proud fans and players singing along to “We Are the Champions!”, and the banner being lifted to the rafters of the Capital One Bank Arena in Washington D.C.
“Kind of a historic moment for us,” Captain Alex Ovechkin said after the game. “Tonight, we had so many emotions, so much fun out there, and you can see how we played.”
In another high scoring game the following night, the Caps fell to rival Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime, with a final score of 7-6.
The Caps outscored the Pens in the first period 3-2, but the Pens dominated the second period, scoring three goals and leading by one at the end of the second period. Evgeni Malkin put the Penguins ahead by two early in the third period, which looked like trouble for the Caps until T.J. Oshie scored two goals in 21 seconds to tie it up at six goals each just minutes before regulation time ended.
A hooking call on Evgeny Kuznetsov sent him to the penalty box in overtime and gave the Pens a 4-on-3 scoring opportunity that resulted in Kris Letang’s game-winning goal two minutes into overtime.
Although the Caps didn’t leave PPG Paints Arena with their desired result, they fought hard in a tough arena to earn a point in overtime and showed no sign in their first two games of any “hangover” effect from a long summer of partying with Lord Stanley’s Cup.
On Wednesday, the Caps will face the Vegas Golden Knights for the first time since Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final, which resulted in the Capital’s first Stanley Cup Championship. The Caps will look for a repeat win against the Knights but this time without two key players who contributed to their playoff success: Tom Wilson and Michal Kempny.
Wilson, who put up 15 points in 21 playoff games last season, is currently serving a 20-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Oskar Sundqvist in the preseason game against St Louis.
Kempny skated in a light-blue, noncontact jersey at practice on Saturday for the first time in two weeks, following his concussion in the Sept 26 preseason game against St. Louis. His injury left the Caps defensive line short-handed, with only six defenders skating in practice on Saturday.
According to the Washington Post, Head Coach Todd Reirden says his goal is to have Kempny back for Wednesday’s game.
“To have him back out there, he was in a non-contact jersey, but I thought was skating really well,” Reirden said after practice Saturday. “We’ll continue to evaluate it every day and see how he is later today and tomorrow and then see where tomorrow’s practice goes from there.”
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.