Tonight in the 2013-14 NHL season opener the Washington Capitals faced a team that was not only the defending Stanley Cup Champion but had also won two Stanley Cups in the past 3 years. The Caps and Blackhawks did not play against each other last season due to the shorten season, their last meeting was March 18, 2012 when Chicago defeated Washington 5-2. This game felt like deja vu as the Caps fall in their season opener by a score of 6-4.
One problem that plagued the Capitals in this game causing them to lose was their inability to keep a lead or tie. Every single time that the Capitals scored to tie or take the lead the Blackhawks attacked right back with goals of their own. Capitals goalie Braden Holtby despite recording 34 saves still gave up many goals that he shouldn’t have. If the Capitals hope to survive in this new conference that they are in they are going to have to improve in keeping leads which involves the defense and goalies stepping it up.
Washington still put up some good stats offensively tonight which should give them some confidence in their next game which is their home opener. They scored three power play goals out of six chances (50%), center Nicklas Backstrom was involved in all of them recording three assists on the night. Newly acquired center Mikhail Grabovski scored the first hat trick of the 2013-14 NHL season in his Capitals debut, he also had one assist. Captain Alex Ovechkin also added a goal and an assist.
These two teams will not see each other again for some time, until April 11th. Next game for the Caps will be Thursday night at the Verizon Center as they kick off their home opener with a showdown with the Calgary Flames, time of game 7:00 pm/ET.
About the Author
Written by Brendan Keelan
Former High School and College athlete (football, Wesley College).