Cody Eakin helps Capitals top Flyers, 4-3, in rookie game
Cody Eakin might have started a little slowly against the Flyers on Thursday afternoon, but the 2009 draft pick responded well, topping off his performance with an unassisted game-winner in the Capitals' 4-3 win at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The goal was a nice backhanded shot that found the upper corner of the Flyers' net with just 1 minute 16 seconds remaining in regulation.
"That was a perfectly executed controlled breakout," Eakin said. "I came in with speed the whole way, the goalie didn't play it. I just kind of wrapped around, took a backhand and it squeaked through."
Here are some other notes and quotes from the rookie game victory:
* - Although Eakin served as the game's hero, center Marcus Johansson was one of the best players on the ice for the Capitals. There were several times where the 2009 first-round draft pick's speed helped him create opportunities in the offensive zone, and he had a nifty set-up on Stanislav Galiev's goal in the first period.
"He's changed his game a lot from development camp to now, which is good,," Coach Bruce Boudreau said of Johansson. "He wasn't sitting back. He's playing more of our style. You can see how effortless a skater he is and how strong he was on faceoffs and on the puck. He was probably the most consistent player we had all night."
* - In between bookend goals by Galiev, who also had a strong showing in the contest, and Eakin defenseman Josh Godfrey added a pair of power-play tallies. Unfortunately for Godfrey, he struggled defensively and at even strength, which have been areas he's needed to improve upon since he was drafted in 2007.
"My defensive game is something I've been trying to work on pretty well since I've been drafted here," said Godfrey, who should compete for a spot with the AHL's Hershey Bears this season. "I know it wasn't good enough to play at the NHL - my defensive game - but it's something I've been trying to work on."
Here's Hershey Coach Mark French, who was behind the bench for the contest, on Godfrey: "I think his five-on-five play has got to be better. Josh has brought that offensively to the table since he was a junior player and put up great points as a junior mostly because of that shot, and you saw the results of it. If he possesses one skill that's at the NHL level now it's his shot. He probably needs a more well-rounded game to get more five-on-five minutes."
* - Trevor Bruess stayed true to his word and found a willing dance partner in Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo in the second period. The crowd wasn't happy the referees broke up the skirmish, and neither was Bruess. "I thought they came in a little early," he said after the game. "He was running around a lot. I would have liked to get another shot at him."
* - With French on the bench, Boudreau watched the game from the balcony attached to the Capitals' main offices, but it's not something he wants to do on a regular basis. "I much prefer on the bench. I don't want to get used to being up on the balcony. I don't want to make much of a habit of it."
* - Kettler is closed to the media Friday and there are no on-ice activities. We'll still have a morning roundup post though and there will be plenty more updates from the first day of formal training camp on Saturday.
September 16, 2010; 7:21 PM ET
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