Capitals Kickoff Season with Hat Trick, An Amazing Goalie, and a 5-4 Shootout Win!


The Washington Capitals are back on the ice, playing their first game in Ottawa against the Senators.  It was quite a night in Canada as the Caps settled into the changes to the roster. With five new players on the team, they are still adjusting to the loss of key players like Karl Alzner and Marcus Johansson.

The night began on a couple of somber notes with a remembrance of those who lost their lives in the horrific events in Las Vegas this past Sunday. The moment was followed by and acknowledgment of the death of former Capitals coach and Senator General Manager Bryan Murray (1942-2017) and a moment of silence to honor the hockey legend.

How it Went

From the moment the puck hit the ice, you could tell it was going to a different kind of game than what we saw in the preseason. More speed and more determination. It matters now! This looks like a team that is starting to come together, with everyone stepping up. There were some glitches with the defense; however, we are sure the more they play together the better they will become.

It took about seven minutes into the first period for the Senators (Chris Wideman) to score on Braden Holtby – he just couldn’t see the puck to stop it. Brett Connolly took two minutes to answer back with a power shot from Lars Eller into the net. The Caps were the first team called for slashing – Lars Eller to the sin bin. And then we had a holding by Aaron Ness. Thankfully the Sens failed to convert on the man advantage. Period end tied 1-1.

The pace seemed to slow down a bit in the second period.  And again, about seven minutes in the Caps defense (with Carlson) failed to defend a runaway Senator with the puck; 2-1 Sens. (Mark Stone) Penalties continued for the Caps with Tyler Graovac for tripping and then Ottawa forgot how to count the men on the ice and the Caps were on a power play.  It looked like Alex Ovechkin had a goal but the ref called a high stick and washed out the goal . We disagree…

The third period didn’t start off too great for our boys. Holtby was snaked by the Sens as his defense (Niskanen and Orlov) failed to make it to the net in time to help. 3-1 Sens. (Brassard) It didn’t take long for the GR8 to get on the board with his first goal of the season. GO OVI!! 3-2 Sens

  • But that wasn’t enough for Ovi – in about 40 seconds he came in for a second goal, with assists from Vrana and Kuzy.  Now tied 3-3
  • And it seemed almost as quickly the Senators (Stone again) pulled ahead again on a turnover from Smith-Pelly. Ugh. 4-3 Sens.
  • Never to be underestimated: Ovechkin comes in at the 10:48 mark to tie it up and get his 18th hat trick of his NHL career.
  • Holtby had some awesome saves this period – we think he has shook off the last of the off-season rust.

The third ended in a tie, forcing an overtime. Unfortunately Kuznetsov was called for a holding penalty and he reluctantly headed to the box and a four-on-three power play for the Sens. Holtby and the PKers held the Sens off. Back to four-on-four It got a little rough with Carly even losing his helmet. Neither team scored so we go to…

The Shootout. First up Ottawa, one in by Ryan. Oshie hit the post. Turris up and Holtby blocks that one. Ovi goes up against Craig Anderson and ties it up. Brassard for Sens doesn’t connect. Kuzy for the wins SCORES!  5-4 CAPS 

Caps fans were pretty impressed with Jakub Vrana-the Ovi line looks good with Vrana.  Kuznetsov was great – he is all over the ice and not afraid to protect the net if needed. Ovi and Vrana had five SOG each–Ovi had three goals and Vrana two assists. Kuzy had two assists – but no SOG.  We think this might work!

Caps will meet the Senators again on 22 November and 27 February–both games in DC.

Don’t forget the Caps home opener is at 7 pm at the Capital One Arena. And there is the annual Red Carpet event before.


Author: Maggie Marcum

Managing Editor for Friends in Cold Places.

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