Game Summary - Event Summary
It may have been a bit rocky, but the Capitals managed a win in dramatic fashion as they start their 2015-2016 season against the New Jersey Devils. Braden Holtby stopped 22 shots to earn his first victory of the season. Alex Ovechkin scored yet another highlight reel goal that started a three goal third period that solidified the win for the home team.
The Devils, who lost the night before at home to the Winnipeg Jets, pushed the pace of the game early as they tested the Caps legs early. It proved a good strategy for them as the home team seemed to struggle after a week off from their previous pre-season game. Despite being on their heels, they did manage a shorthanded goal by Jason Chimera who banked it off a defenders stick on a give and go with Justin Williams.
Washington then took a 2-0 lead after a break down by the Devils on the transition. It led to Brooks Orpik scoring his first goal as a Capital. After that, the Devils seemed to wake up. Bad coverage led to Adam Henrique goal after he got a spectacular feed from Jiri Tlusty. Then add a Devil power play goal and New Jersey made it a new game after one period of play.
While things seemed to settle in the second period, it was in the third when the fireworks started for the Capitals. The captain, Ovechkin, took a outlet dump out on the half boards in his own zone from Matt Niskanen. In his classic way, Ovi streaked down the left side, pulled the puck through his own legs and away from Devils defender John Moore. Ovi then bear downed on net on the back hand before last minute going forehand to chip it over Keith Kinkaid who covered the lower net expecting a back hand shot.
The goal sent the phone booth into a tizzy and chant of "O-vi" rang down as the captain celebrated his first of the season and 476th goal of his career. It also ignited the Caps play and they were able to take a strong hold on the game with a power play goal by Marcus Johansson and a Niskanen empty netter.
Niskanen's goal did come from a strange strategy by the Devils to pull goaltender Kinkaid on the PK with three minutes to play in the game. Caps took advantage and scored to make it 5-2. New Jersey didn't give up their strategy and got a last minute goal from Mike Cammalleri.
- Ovi 500 goal watch: Scored a goal to reach 476 career goals in the NHL. He has 12 points (6g, 6a) in 11 home openers.
- Ovechkin (1g, 1a), Chimera (1g, 1a), Niskanen (1g, 1a), Williams (2a) and John Carlson (2a) all had a two point night.
- Chimera's first period short handed goal was a first for the franchise. It was the first time in Caps history for the first goal of the season be a shorty. (per Elias Sports Bureau)