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Takeaways: Strome & New Guys Steal Show As Capitals Edge Flyers



Washington Capitals

Despite being new additions for the Washington Capitals, Connor Brown, Dylan Strome and Charlie Lindgren looked right at home against Philadelphia.

All three needed no time to adjust or get comfortable, as they got off to a hot start right away with their new club and led the Capitals to an ultimate 3-1 win over the Flyers. And while it’s only preseason, each showed a lot of promise and potential for good things to come.

Here are all the takeaways from the preseason victory:

Strome & Brown Connection Looks Legit

Prior to Wednesday, the last time Dylan Strome and Connor Brown played together was back in 2014 with the OHL’s Erie Otters. Washington reunited the former junior teammates against Philly, and they didn’t disappoint.

Brown kicked off the scoring for Washington, ripping a waiting puck from Bobby Nardella past Felix Sandstrom to make it 1-0 early in the second. He was quick and tenacious on pucks and also showcased his strong two-way play to boot.

Minutes later, Strome would strike on the power play off a one-timer to make it 2-0 for the Capitals. Strome was operating the half wall and looked good on the mana advantage, displaying his patience and high hockey IQ while reading the play well.

Then, with the game winding down and Washington up by one, Strome and Brown went on a 2-on-0 break that finished with Strome scoring off the give-and-go with Brown and restoring the two-goal lead to make it 3-1, which would hold as the final.

Overall, the two looked confident and fast out there, and also bounced off each other and helped generate a lot of pressure on the forecheck while also, of course, being responsible for all three goals.Ā Strome also led the Capitals with five shots on goal, while Brown managed three of his own. No. 17 also went 7-for-15 (47 percent) in the face-off dot, while Brown went 3-for-5 (60).

Lindgren Stands Tall In Capitals Debut

Another new name, Lindgren made quite the statement with a strong outing through two periods. Though the start of the night was a bit slow, with him facing just seven shots to open the first, he came up big with a few stellar stops on a flurry in front, showing poise and tracking the puck well. He also handled his rebounds and showcased strong lateral movement.

The 28-year-old finished his night with 13 saves on 13 shots before Zach Fucale took over for the final period, where he stopped seven of eight shots against. Lindgren is preparing for his first full NHL season as he teams up with Darcy Kuemper to make up Washington’s new tandem, and this was a great start.

‘They Can Definitely Trust Me’: Lindgren Ready For NHL Jump With Capitals

Nardella, Protas Among Standouts

Beyond the new guys, there were also other Capitals who made quite the statement. First was Nardella.

The puck-moving defenseman, who is on a one-way deal this season, was moving the puck effectively and making a good first pass. He also joined the rush, battled for pucks and made smart plays that led to his two helpers. Nardella finished with two assists and one shot while skatingĀ 18:35 minutes on the third pairing with Matt Irwin and on the power play.

Aliaksei Protas also looked impressive out there, turning on the jets, battling along the board and getting aggressive on the forecheck. He had an assist in his first preseason game and was generating quite a few chances while centering the second line with Johansson and Mike Vecchione. The only area he struggled: the face-off dot, as he won just two of nine draws (22 percent).

Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes

  • Garnet Hathaway, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Johansson got to wear the “A”s for Washington.
  • Kale Kessy led the Capitals with seven hits, but he also got an unsportsmanlike penalty for trying to drop the gloves in the second. Hathaway and Dylan McIlrath ranked second in hits with four apiece.

Dropping The Gloves: Capitals Discuss The Art Of Fighting & How To Win

  • Lucas Johansen and TVR led all blueliners in ice time, with each logging over 21 minutes. Johansen was also another name that rose to the occasion and played well alongside TVR. It was a good test for him, as he’s looking to try and play with TVR on that third pairing with Washington this season.
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