Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 2-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night in their preseason opener at Verizon Center:
How it happened: Tom Wilson broke a scoreless tie 3:31 into the third period, snapping a pass from defenseman Christian Djoos inside the left post for his first goal of the preseason. Derek Roy made it 2-0 with 6:49 remaining in regulation, firing a shot off the right shoulder of Hurricanes goaltender Drew MacIntyre. Caps goalies Braden Holtby (14 saves) and Dan Ellis (12 saves) combined for the shutout.
Wild child: Before the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz referred to Wilson as a “wild child” capable of dominating with his wrists as well as his fists. The 21-year-old right winger delivered in the third period, ripping a shot past goalie Drew MacIntyre. Wilson scored just four goals in 64 games last season and spent his summer in Toronto working on his puck skills.
Holtby perfect: Braden Holtby stopped all 14 shots he faced in his first start for the Capitals since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Truth be told, Holtby missed the first 36 seconds of the game because of an equipment issue. He replaced Dan Ellis after the first stoppage.
Ellis also perfect: Dan Ellis had to reach back to make a stop with his goal stick minutes after replacing Holtby with 7:11 remaining in the second period and stopped a flurry of Canes chances in the third to preserve the shutout.
Oshie and Ovi: Alex Ovechkin and T. J. Oshie generated several scoring chances while playing on a top a line with Evgeny Kuznetsov. In the first period Ovechkin hit Oshie in stride with a cross-ice pass. Oshie spun around and fired a shot wide of the net. In the third period Kuznetsov fed Ovechkin for a one-timer that knuckled into the glove of MacIntyre.
Loving Orlov: Defenseman Dmitry Orlov was very assertive in his first NHL game since the end of the 2013-14 season. Sidelined all of last season with a wrist injury, Orlov jumped into holes for shots, killed penalties and absorbed a big block on a slapper by Canes defenseman Ryan Murphy.
Special teamers: The Caps’ first power play unit had Ovechkin in the high left circle, Matt Niskanen at the high point, Evgeny Kuznetsov on the half wall, Derek Roy on the goal line and T.J. Oshie in the slot. The second unit had Jason Chimera, Carter Camper, Jakub Vrana, Ovechkin and Connor Carrick. The Caps’ penalty killing pairs were comprised of Chimera and Oshie; and Wilson and Laich; with defense pairings of Niskanen and Karl Alzner; and Orlov and Arron Ness.
What’s next: The Caps will visit the Boston Bruins Tuesday night, when Philipp Grubauer and Justin Peters are expected to split time between the pipes.