Alex Ovechkin was in the lineup for the first time this preseason and he made sure his presence was felt. In the opening minutes of Tuesday’s game against Boston. Ovechkin dished out numerous big hits and kept up the pace throughout the game. “It’s, you know, physical game. It is always nice to just get into it right away,” Ovechkin said. “In the scrimmage like we don’t hit a lot. Just try to play more casual and right now it is just time to get into it.”
“The Great Eight” also showcased the other side of his game by notching 2 points which good for the 1st star of Tuesday’s matchup. “Just give them puck and they score goals. So it was easy,” Ovechkin remarked.
Despite all the things that went well for Ovechkin and Capitals the game took a scary turn late in the 3rd period when he was boarded by Gregory Campbell. Ovechkin didn’t take kindly to that and slashed Campbell hard in the shin immediately after. “If he doesn’t duck his head he could have been seriously hurt. So I don’t blame him for going back at him,” head coach Bruce Boudreau said in his post game press conference.
Offseason addition D.J. King also played a very physical game, getting into a heated fight in the first period with the Bruins Sean Thornton perhaps showing the Verizon Center faithful just why the Capitals traded for him in July. “I had told him early on that you don’t have to fight in training camp but he wanted to show his new teammates and fans that he is not bad at his craft,” said Boudreau.
“It is nice to get the first one out of the way, it wasn’t mid-season form that’s for sure,” King remarked. “I am not going to lie. I look at other teams rosters, and I know there are a lot of big boys out east. It is going to be a battle every night,” he said.
King’s fight may have spurred the Capitals on as just a minute and 41 seconds later Mathieu Perreault scored the first goal of the night. “It made the guys feel better on the bench, that they got a big brother out there… We never really had that tough physical presence last year,” Boudreau said
The Bruins Jeremy Reich tied the score later in period, sneaking a shot past Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth. Washington retook the lead late in the 2nd period when Alexander Semin netted a nice wrist shot on the power play.
Cody Eakin scored the Capitals third goal of the night when he went top shelf on Bruins goalie Nolan Schaefer.
The 19 year old center has made the battle for the 3rd line center position between him, Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perrault and Matt Hendricks more interesting than originally thought. “They are sure making it tough. They are not giving an inch.” Boudreau noted. “I did not expect Cody Eakin quite frankly, as a junior to come in and play as well as he did… It is making for some interesting fodder, if that is even a word,” he said.