Photo: Amanda Bowen
On Monday, the Washington Capitals will play their first preseason game of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes. It will be televised on CSN Washington. No matter what the score, the Caps and Canes will experiment with the NHL’s new overtime format: five minutes of three-on-three hockey.
“Not a lot of [games] are going to go to shootouts, which is unfortunate,” TJ Oshie told The Washington Times on Sunday, smiling. “But, I think it’s going to be fun to watch.”
Over the weekend, Barry Trotz had his team go through three-on-three drills, giving the players an opportunity to get a feel for the open ice. He didn’t always use two forwards together with a defenseman.
Washington experimented with two defensemen (Niskanen and Karl Alzner ) and a forward (Brooks Laich ) as a sort of prevent defense to a Russian trio, forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov and defenseman Dmitry Orlov. Sending out three forwards also is a possibility.
The Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov group appeared to be playing a man down at times in the defensive zone, with Ovechkin waiting for a breakaway by the offensive blue line. After trying a few “out of the box” things, Trotz said the Capitals would probably “tone it down” for preseason games.
Despite scoring an “OT winner” for his maroon team, Matt Niskanen told NHL.com’s Katie Brown that, “It doesn’t feel like real hockey. It feels like summer shinny in July.”
Here are my photos from this weekend and players’ chats with the media.
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