Stars and Surprises of Caps Rookie Game

In a game that surprisingly featured more goals than fights, the Capitals rookies beat the Philadephia Flyers rookies 4-3 at Kettler Thursday.

Two of the most talked-about players in the Caps rookie camp generated points on offense. Center Marcus Johansson had two assists, and Cody Eakin scored the game winning goal late in the third.

Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said that after one miscue at the blue line, Eakin was the “most dominant player when he touched the puck.”

“He’s developing nicely,” Boudreau said.

Boudreau was equally complimentary of Johansson.

“He was probably the most consistent player we had all night,” Boudreau said.

There were also two power play goals from 22-year-old Josh Godfrey, a defenseman who spent last year playing for the Capitals’ affiliates in Hershey and South Carolina. Boudreau said he was drafted for his shot and offensive prowess.

“This probably was the first time since we’ve had him that he actually had a chance for that to come through,” Boudreau said. “He’s going to need to do that, and more, to improve.”

Godfrey, softspoken in the locker room afterwards, said camp this week was a good refresher and that he’s had to work to develop his play in the defensive zone since he was drafted in 2007. Godfrey said he actually trained with Capitals defenseman John Erskine several years ago – they’re from the same hometown in Ontario – but they haven’t really stayed in contact.

On defense, Boudreau was happy with Dustin Stevenson, Brett Flemming, and Patrick Cullity.

“Those unknowns that come out and play a game, and you know they’re very teachable, I thought were real good,” Boudreau said.

Caps rookie Trevor Bruess was the only Capital who made any headway in starting a fight,  but it fizzled out before things got ugly.

The fans were also in regular season form, with a group near the glass airing the “C-A-P-S, Caps! Caps! Caps!” cheer at different points in the game.

Make sure to check back later for top-notch photos and analysis of today’s game from DCSportsChick.

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