There’s really nowhere to go but up for Spencer Carbery and the Washington Capitals, who were shutout on their home ice to open the 2023-24 season Friday.
“If you chalk it up, it’s the worst scripted start we possibly could have had in terms of just being disappointed,” Carbery said postgame. “Home ice, trying to generate some momentum from a season standpoint, and that certainly did not happen.”
After a back-and-forth first period, the wheels quickly fell off for the Capitals. Evgeni Malkin found a hole in the second period to put the Penguins on the board first, before Sidney Crosby tallied two power play goals — both assisted by Malkin — to take a 3-0 lead.
The Capitals, who went on the power play three times over the course of the night, didn’t have the same luck.
“I didn’t think special teams was very good tonight,” Carbery said. “I thought they were just slapping it around. A couple Tic-Tac-Toe plays on both those. I’ll have to go back and look at them. Entries were an issue for us, power play-wise, especially over on the left side. And then penalty kill obviously puts us in a hole.”
Charlie Lindgren was in net for the Capitals, receiving the start after Darcy Kuemper became a dad late Thursday. Despite the four goals, he made some eyebrow-raising plays between the pipes.
“I honestly thought he was really good,” Carbery said. “We put him in a tough spot. Wasn’t slated to play today, but just didn’t help him. Didn’t help him, and that’s disappointing.”