The Stanley Cup Champions are off the a strong start, defeating the Boston Bruins 7-0 at the Capital One Arena.
The Caps were without right winger, Tom Wilson, who was handed a 20-match ban by the NHL for his hit on St Louis Blues’ Oskar Sundqvist. Wilson is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $1,260,162.60. His salary for this season is only $1,100,000, meaning in theory he’ll play the season without getting a single paycheck (though he did earn a $5m signing bonus in July).
Washington didn’t need him though, thrashing their rivals 7-0, scoring four of those on the power play. T.J. Oshie opened the scoring after just 24 seconds. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his first of two a minute later. The Caps led 2-0 at the end of the first period.
Captain Fantastic Alex Ovechkin tripled their lead at the start of the second period with Nicklas Backstrom and Oshie getting the assists. Nic Dowd was an unusual but welcome face amongst the scorers getting Washington’s fourth before Kuznetsov scored his second of the night and the Caps’ fifth.
It was after that goal that Tukka Rask was replaced in goal for the Bruins.
John Carlson made it 6-0 before the second period was over from Ovechkin and Backstrom.
As if things couldn’t get any worse for the Bruins they conceded another goal in the third period, this time Lars Eller found the back of the net. Not too long afterwards Eller got in a fight with Brad Marchand and had to leave the game with a blood injury and then return to the penalty box to serve out the remainder of his penalty. Marchand got a total 17 minute penalty from the infraction that happened with just over 6:00 left on the clock. As the incident happened with inadequate time for the Bruins forward to serve out his penalty for interference and an additional major penalty, he had to leave the game for good.
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby got his 33rd career shutout.
If the Champions keep playing like they did tonight, their back-to-back dreams could become a reality.