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Washington Capitals

Oshie Shines As Capitals Top Canadiens For First Win Of Season



Capitals forward T.J. Oshie

The Capitals earned their first win of the season Saturday night at home against the Montreal Canadiens. Washington seemed to respond well to head coach Peter Laviolette’s decision to switch up all of the forward lines except for the fourth line of Sheary-Dowd-Hathaway, which stayed the same. He also elected to bump Kuznetsov to the second power play in favor of Dylan Strome.

Washington appeared to take a 1-0 lead with just under seven minutes to play in the first period, but the goal was overturned as Aliaksei Protas was offside entering the zone. The goal would have been Ovechkin’s first of the year, had it counted. Instead, the game remained scoreless after the first period.

The Capitals started the second period a bit flat-footed and surrendered a Nick Suzuki wrap-around goal just two minutes and one second into the frame.

Washington finally got the offense going as they tied the game on a Conor Sheary goal about halfway through the second and then claimed their first lead of the game on an Anthony Mantha wrist shot less than three minutes later.

The Capitals also got their first power play of the night late in the second period, won the offensive zone face off and managed to spend more than a full minute in the offensive zone before TJ Oshie found the back of the net and ended the Capitals’ early season man-advantage woes. The team had failed to convert on nine power play chances to start the season.

Dylan Strome, who picked up an assist on the power play goal, looked comfortable and confident on the half wall in place of Evgeny Kuznetsov.

After two periods the Capitals led three to one, the team’s first multi-goal lead of the season, and had twice as many shots as the Habs.

The Canadiens showed some life with a threatening power play midway through the final frame, but the Capitals killed that one off to finish the night at a perfect three for three on the penalty kill.

With about three minutes to play, Anthony Mantha and Kaiden Guhle dropped the mitts for a very brief fight after Guhle delivered a cross-check to Mantha. Both players received five-minute fighting majors.

Ovechkin nearly had his first goal of the season again when he fired a shot at the empty net from center ice, but it hit the post and stayed out.

Darcy Kuemper picked up his first win of the season and made 21 saves in the three to one victory.

The Capitals will seek another win Monday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.



Mackane Vogel is a 24 year old hockey writer and podcaster from Baltimore, MD. He currently lives in Milwaukee, WI and is a 2020 Marquette University journalism graduate. Previously, Mackane attended Calvert Hall College High School in Towson, MD and played Varsity hockey there as well as for the Baltimore Stars. Mackane also works for Empty Betters Hockey Podcast as a co-host and producer.