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game recap

Capitals score seven, shut out Bruins in season opener

Kuznetsov has two goals, Holtby makes 25 saves for defending champions

by Brian McNally / Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals began their Stanley Cup title defense with a 7-0 win against the Boston Bruins at Capital One Arena on Wednesday.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored two power-play goals, T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin each had a goal and an assist, and Braden Holtby made 25 saves for the Capitals.

Tuukka Rask allowed five goals on 19 shots, including on three consecutive shots in the second period, for the Bruins, who have lost 13 straight games (0-10-3) to Washington.


[WATCH: All Bruins vs. Capitals highlights]


The Capitals were honored pregame with a ceremony that included a video commemorating their championship team, Ovechkin skating with the Cup around the ice before a sellout crowd, and raising the title banner to the rafters.

"I think in that moment you can use it to your advantage," Oshie said. "You're sitting there on the ice getting pumped up for about 25 minutes from videos and chants and the crowd and the other team is sitting there doing nothing in the locker room."

Oshie scored 24 seconds into the game to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead on a one-timer from low in the left face-off circle off a cross-ice pass from Nicklas Backstrom. The assist was Backstrom's 800th career point. He is the third Capitals players to reach that mark joining Ovechkin (1,124) and Peter Bondra (825).

Kuznetsov scored his first power-play goal at 1:47 to make it 2-0.

Video: BOS@WSH: Oshie, Kuznetsov score two quick early goals

Ovechkin scored on the power play at 4:17 of the second period with a one-timer from the left circle to extend the lead to 3-0.

"I think our lack of competitive spirit," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "It's opening night. Guys should be a little hungrier. We got ourselves behind the eight ball and clearly weren't ready to go and it just carried on from there."

Nic Dowd made it 4-0 with a spinning backhand at 6:13, and Kuznetsov scored short side from low in the left circle on the power play at 7:28 to make it 5-0. Rask was pulled following the goal and replaced by Jaroslav Halak, who made 16 saves.

"I don't want to even talk about the whole [team] performance," Rask said. "Look at myself. I'm out there to give us a chance and it didn't happen today. Give up three soft goals, you look in the mirror and go fix it."

Video: BOS@WSH: Ovechkin uncorks sizzling one-timer for PPG

John Carlson scored on a one-timer on a 5-on-3 at 15:45 to make it 6-0, and Lars Eller split two defensemen to score on a breakaway at 10:52 of the third period to make it 7-0.

Capitals coach Todd Reirden, who was hired to replace Barry Trotz on June 29, earned his first career victory.

"We harped on it just to make sure we were prepared mentally," Carlson said. "We had enough adrenaline with everything going on and the fans were pretty crazy, too. That carries you the first couple of minutes."

Video: BOS@WSH: Capitals raise 2018 Stanley Cup banner


They said it

"It's one game. It's nothing. We'll let it go and worry about [Thursday against Buffalo Sabres]." -- Bruins forward Brad Marchand

"It was amazing. All the fans saw the Cup on the ice. It's a historic moment for us. Nice to be part of it, nice to be in this organization. Tonight, we have so many emotions and you could see it in how we played." -- Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin
Need to know
Washington was 4-6 on the power play. Boston was 0-2. … The Capitals set an NHL record for largest shutout victory by a defending Cup champion in its season opener. … Holtby recorded his 33rd career shutout. … Backstrom had three assists. … Capitals forward Tom Wilson, was was suspended 20 games by the NHL earlier on Wednesday for a preseason hit on St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist, was on the ice for the pregame ceremony.

What's next

Bruins: At the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, NESN, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, TVAS, ATTSN-PT, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Video: Caps raise Cup banner, rout Bruins 7-0 to open season

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