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Lindgren On Capitals Debut, ‘Frustrating’ Game-Winner Going In Off Back



Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren was excited to jump into action for the first time with his new club, and he would be put under a lot of pressure on a big stage as he took the crease against the Toronto Maple Leafs for his Capitals debut on Thursday. And despite the result, he had a standout game he was hoping for.

Lindgren shined between the pipes for Washington, coming up with quite a few ten-bell saves and shutting down several odd-man rushes, in-tight chances and breakaways to boot. He ended up stopping 36 of 39 shots (.923 save percentage) in a 3-2 loss to the Leafs.

“It was fun representing the Capitals tonight. I was really excited to put the jersey on and go out and play,” Lindgren said postgame. “Obviously, it was a great environment, knew it was gonna be. Obviously disappointed to not come out with the W though.”

READ MORE ON WHN: Takeaways From Washington Capitals’ Lackluster Loss To Toronto Maple Leafs

The 28-year-old got off to a busy start right away, facing 22 shots in the first period while having to bail out a struggling blue line in front of him. He didn’t mind too much, though, as the extra reps helped him get into the swing and pace of things. Plus, he thanked his team for keeping Washington in the fight.

“I mean, as a goalie, definitely like feeling the puck. In that first period, they threw everything but the kitchen sink, they came out flying,” he said. “Like I said, they got a great crowd here and I think they probably fed off that a little bit and they’re a really talented team and so I knew they were gonna get their chances and I thought our guys did a really good job tonight as well just staying in the fight and giving us a chance to win.”

Even though he put on a clinic with some big stops and kept the game well within reach for the Capitals, Lindgren wasn’t happy with the last goal against. An Auston Matthews redirect off a Mark Giordano point shot led to the puck going in off Lindgren’s back and making it a 3-2 hockey game in the third. That score would hold to move Washington to 0-2-0 to open the 2022-23 campaign.

“It’s frustrating it ends that way,” he noted. “Giordano took that shot, and Matthews barely got a piece of it, just to change direction enough and I felt it roll down my back and went in the back of the net. Obviously frustrating, obviously a good tip, but tough for it to end like that.”

The Capitals will be back in action on Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens. The puck drops at 7 p.m. at Capital One Arena.