Pregame Storylines

First game of the 56 game regular season starts tonight. Ovi is 2 goals away from 7th place all time, Chara makes his Caps debut, and 23 year old Ilya Samsonov takes the net as the #1 goalie on the depth chart for the first time. The Sabres have a few new faces the Caps have seen plenty of with Taylor Hall and Eric Staal. Finally, Caps hockey is back and the Laviolette era begins.

First Period

BOOM! 6 minutes into the new period Nicklas Backstrom gives the caps a 1-0 lead with helpers coming from Ovi and Oshie. As Locker let us know Backstrom has 14 assists in 12 season opening games of the year. A very questionable call on Oshie gives us our first look at the Caps PK…….and shortly thereafter Taylor Hall buries a wide open back door tap in.

The back and forth continued when the Caps took the lead right back, with an classic Osh garbage goal while Ovi collects his 2nd assist of the period. 14 shots on goal in 1 period? This is not a Todd Reirden team.

Second Period

Caps continue to push the pace before killing off their second penalty of the night. After Dowd left the box he was sprung on a breakaway, but fumbled the puck before getting a shot off. John Carlson gave the caps a 2 goal lead following a quick transition goal. Love seeing how active the D-men are on the rush.

Another goal from a D-Man just 5 minutes later. Dilly Dilly! with his first as a Cap and his first goal since 2019. Clean play win off the draw by Eller, good faceoff play by Sheary and follow up pass by Sheary and a seeing eye-puck from the blueline. Buffalo eventually pulled back to within 2 before the 2nd intermission. All and all, some sloppy play, but have got to be happy all things considered.

Third Period

What a start to a period. Jake McCabe blasts one past Samsonov’s earhole just 20 seconds into the period. Buffalo newcomer, Eric Staal gift wrapped a slot pass to Vrana who buried his first of the year, giving the Caps (yet again) a 2-goal lead to make it 5-3 good guys 1 minute into the final frame. As locker would say “WHERE MAMA KEEPS THE PEANUT BUTTER”

Staal’s night continued to get worse after Nic Dowd delivered a high hit to the head. Another successful PK killed. Jake McCabe was looking for a dancing partner to complete his Gordie Howe Hattrick and Dillon obliged. After a spirited bout, both men got a head start to showers. About 10 seconds after Locker started pumping Olofsson takes advantage of defensive zone breakdown and failure to get the puck out. 50 seconds later Hathaway puts the game out of reach with a 3/4 length empty netter. Caps win 6-4

Closing Thoughts…

First game back after no exhibition games. I loved seeing the defense more involved offensively. I would be shocked if Dowd does not hear from the Dept. of Player Safety. Big guns brought the points tonight. See ya soon Buffalo

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