The Washington Capitals have had a rather successful preseason up to this point. The team has managed to stay healthy on their way to a 4-1-0 record after tonight's loss in Philadelphia. The Capitals first loss came at the hands of a familiar foe, Joffrey Lupul, who ended their playoff run back in April with an overtime goal in game seven of their opening round series. Sophomore Nicklas Backstrom marked Washington's lone goal in a 2-1 contest. These two teams will be back at it on Friday evening at the Verizon Center for the Caps' second last preseason matchup.
Though held off the scoreboard, 22 year old Chris Bourque had another strong performance, as he tries to make a case for the opening night roster. In his four preseason games, the son of legendary Bruins' defenseman Raymond Bourque has amased 2 goals and 2 assists, while playing plenty on special teams.
In his post game press conference, coach Bruce Boudreau was quoted to have singled out a few players for praise: Chris Bourque, Chris Clark, Karl Alzner, Jay Beagle and Sami Lepisto. Bourque, Alzner and Lepisto are all vying for a spot come opening night at Atlanta.
The defensive pairing of Milan Jurcina and John Erskine will be feeling heat after another sub par performance on the blueline. Both Alzner and Lepisto are pushing hard for roster spots and both Erskine and Jurcina could find themselves out of the lineup. Judging by their performances so far, that might be a welcomed change as they have both done everything in their power to play themselves out of a starting spot.
Goaltender Brent Johnson (22 saves) had another solid performance and seems to have put to bed any notion that he will lose his back up job to rookie sensation Simeon Varlamov, who now appears destined for the AHL.
Boudreau also noted that the teams last two preseason games will be dress rehersals for opening night, so it will be interesting to see who finds themselves omitted from the lineup for Friday nights game.
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