The Capitals made their preseason home debut Tuesday at refurbished Capital One Arena. It didn’t go well, a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins. 

Only a handful of regulars played – Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie up front, Matt Niskanen and Dmitry Orlov on the blueline and Braden Holtby in goal. But Washington fell behind less than two minutes into the game and went 1-for-7 on the power play in a whistle-happy game. 

Niskanen scored his power-play goal early in the third period and posted a ridiculous eight shots on goal thanks in large part to playing Ovechkin’s left circle spot on the power play. AHL Hershey prospect Riley Barber, a long-shot to make the 23-man roster, did score a goal. And the Capitals loved what they saw from 2018 first-round draft pick Alex Alexeyev. Still just 18, he’s headed back to junior hockey soon with the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels, but the experience has been a good one. 

Top goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov gave up a goal shortly after taking over for Holtby midway through the second period and allowed two on 11 shots in 29:42 of action. He was hoping for better in his debut.

The Capitals are off Wednesday and head to Quebec City next for a neutral site game against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. They then play the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh on Friday. Don’t expect many players to participate in both road games. 

Check back for Brian’s take and follow Brian on Twitter to keep up with all things Capitals: @bmcnally14.


The Capitals will raise the banner at home against the Boston Bruins. Here’s a look at some highlights:

Home vs. Boston Bruins — October 3, 7:30 p.m. 
The Capitals home opener is always an exciting night. This one, however, will involve hoisting a Stanley Cup Championship banner for the first time in team history. They will do so against the Boston Bruins, a team coming off a 112-point regular season and one that should be among the NHL’s best next winter. 
Away vs. Pittsburgh Penguins —  October 4, 7 p.m.
After what will undoubtedly be an emotional night lifting a championship banner, the Capitals will take off for the Steel City to face the arch-rival Pittsburgh Penguins. After eliminating the Penguins in six games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Pittsburgh will be out for revenge in this early season matchup.
Home vs. Vegas Golden Knights — October 10 8 p.m.
There’s no rest for the weary early in 2018 for the Capitals. In their third game of the year, Washington will host the first encore of the 2018 Stanley Cup against the Vegas Golden Knights in D.C. They’ll play once more in Las Vegas on December 4.
Home vs. New York Islanders — January 18, 7:30 p.m.
Why should Capitals fans care about a mid-january contest against the Islanders? Well in the past this game wouldn’t mean a whole lot. But this year’s matchup brings Barry Trotz back to the District for the first time since he resigned and later signed on to be the coach out on Long Island. Trotz will look to stick it to management when his boys come to town for their lone visit of 2019.
Home vs. Tampa Bay Lighting — March 20, 7:30 p.m.
This late season meeting will be the first of two against the Lighting in Washington’s final nine games. Last these teams met the Capitals celebrated their second ever trip to the Stanley Cup Finals after eviscerating Tampa Bay in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals 4-0. They’ll meet again 10 days later down in Florida.

Game 1: Golden Knights 6, Capitals 4
Game 2: Capitals 3, Golden Knights 2
Game 3: Capitals 3, Golden Knights 1
Game 4: Capitals 6, Golden Knights 2
Game 5: Capitals 4, Golden Knights 3