Caps Help Kick Off World Cup Exhibition Games

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Posted September 8, 2016

(Caps Outsider)

Hockey is back. The World Cup exhibition games started with a pair of games Thursday. Sweden fell 3-2 in overtime to host Finland in a game played in Helsinki. Meanwhile in St. Petersburg, Russia held off the Czech Republic, 4-3.

Nicklas Backstrom was solid in his game with Sweden. In just under 17 minutes of ice time, Backstrom did not register a point, he did win 53% of his faceoffs. Backstrom had 2:23 TOI on the powerplay and 2:41 while Sweden was down a man. Backstrom did have a chance to win it in overtime.

For Russia, Dmitry Orlov, who has yet to be signed by Washington, registered an assist on a rebound goal put home by Nikita Kucherov.

Orlov played 20:12 for Russia with 2:00 while on the penalty kill and and 1:10 while Russia was up a man. Alex Ovechkin had three hits in 15:17 of ice time. In his 4:20 of powerplay time, Ovechkin had some offensive chances, but most importantly, he had a defensive play that broke up a shorthanded chance.

Evgeny Kuznetsov played just under 16 minutes, a quarter of which on the powerplay. He only won 39% of his faceoffs. He was on the same line as Ovechkin. That is something to watch for this tournament. If Ovechkin and Kuznetsov play well together in the World Cup, we could see the two of them together to start the regular season.