Capitals open Stanley Cup defense with 7-0 rout of Bruins

Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, celebrates his goal during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, celebrates his goal during the third period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) fights with Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) fights with Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, scores a goal against Boston Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak, rear, of Slovakia, and center Noel Acciari (55) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, scores a goal against Boston Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak, rear, of Slovakia, and center Noel Acciari (55) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) celebrates with Evgeny Kuznetsov (92), of Russia; Dmitry Orlov (9), of Russia; Lars Eller (20), of Denmark; and Nic Dowd (26) after an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) celebrates with Evgeny Kuznetsov (92), of Russia; Dmitry Orlov (9), of Russia; Lars Eller (20), of Denmark; and Nic Dowd (26) after an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals' Tom Wilson is introduced during a banner raising ceremony before an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. Wilson was banned 20 games by the NHL on Wednesday for a blindside hit to the head of an opponent during a preseason game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals’ Tom Wilson is introduced during a banner raising ceremony before an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. Wilson was banned 20 games by the NHL on Wednesday for a blindside hit to the head of an opponent during a preseason game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40), of Finland, leaves the ice as he is replaced Jaroslav Halak (41), of Slovakia, during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. At left is Bruins center Joakim Nordstrom (20). (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40), of Finland, leaves the ice as he is replaced Jaroslav Halak (41), of Slovakia, during the second period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. At left is Bruins center Joakim Nordstrom (20). (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (74) celebrates his goal, near Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (74) celebrates his goal, near Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, right, of Russia, celebrates his goal as Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner skates nearby during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, right, of Russia, celebrates his goal as Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner skates nearby during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, celebrates his goal with T.J. Oshie (77) during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, celebrates his goal with T.J. Oshie (77) during the second period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, carries the Stanley Cup during a banner-raising ceremony before the team's NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, carries the Stanley Cup during a banner-raising ceremony before the team’s NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
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Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, celebrates his goal during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) fights with Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, scores a goal against Boston Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak, rear, of Slovakia, and center Noel Acciari (55) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) celebrates with Evgeny Kuznetsov (92), of Russia; Dmitry Orlov (9), of Russia; Lars Eller (20), of Denmark; and Nic Dowd (26) after an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals' Tom Wilson is introduced during a banner raising ceremony before an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. Wilson was banned 20 games by the NHL on Wednesday for a blindside hit to the head of an opponent during a preseason game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40), of Finland, leaves the ice as he is replaced Jaroslav Halak (41), of Slovakia, during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. At left is Bruins center Joakim Nordstrom (20). (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (74) celebrates his goal, near Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, right, of Russia, celebrates his goal as Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner skates nearby during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, celebrates his goal with T.J. Oshie (77) during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, carries the Stanley Cup during a banner-raising ceremony before the team's NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) — From banner to blowout, the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup defense is off to a rousing start.

After watching the franchise’s first Cup banner ascend to the rafters, the Alex Ovechkin-led Capitals scored two goals in the first two minutes on the way to a 7-0 thrashing of the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. T.J. Oshie opened the scoring 24 seconds in and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the first of his two goals at 1:47 to give Washington the fastest first two goals by a defending champion in a season opener in NHL history.

“We scored right away,” Ovechkin said. “After that, they were kind of in shock.”

By midway through the second period, the Capitals chased goalie Tuukka Rask with five goals on 19 shots and ignited chants of “Back-to-back! Back-to-back!” from the fired-up crowd. That’s the chant Oshie started after the victory parade in June, and it was echoing throughout the arena four months later.

“I said it because I believe it,” Oshie said. “We got a lot of guys in here that not too long ago were raising the Stanley Cup above our head. Not a lot’s changed.”

Braden Holtby stopped all 25 shots he faced to improve to 15-2 with four shutouts against the Bruins.

The emotional banner ceremony featured montages from the Capitals’ playoff run and ensuing celebrations and a roar when Ovechkin carried the freshly engraved Cup onto the ice and skated a lap with it. Minutes after Ovechkin kissed the Cup and put it back in its box, he and his teammates blew away any concern about an emotional letdown and began making a statement that they want to win it back.

“We showed we’re not going to give a team easy ways to beat us,” Ovechkin said.

In Todd Reirden’s first game as coach, the Capitals beat the Bruins for the 13th consecutive time, this time without Tom Wilson. Washington’s top-line right winger began his 20-game suspension for another illegal check to the head of an opponent in a preseason game.

Without Wilson, the Capitals’ offense didn’t miss a beat as Ovechkin scored one of four power-play goals, Kuznetsov scored his second on the power play and John Carlson beat Boston backup Jaroslav Halak on a 5-on-3 advantage. Newcomer Nic Dowd joined the fun with a spinning back-hander, and Cup-clinching goal-scorer Lars Eller added the exclamation point with the seventh of the night.

The Bruins were not pleased by Eller’s celebration, and winger Brad Marchand instigated a fight with him soon after.

“His celebration was unnecessary,” Marchand said. “He took an angle in front of our bench and celebrated in a 7-0 game. So I just let him know.”

Rask fell to 1-11-5 in his career against the Capitals with a 3.30 goals-against average and .889 save percentage that are each the second-worst of any opponent.

“I’m out there to give us a chance,” Rask said. “It didn’t happen today. Three soft goals, you’ve got to look in the mirror and go fix it.”

Only two goals came against Halak, whose presence on banner night in Washington was poetic after his performance for Montreal in the 2010 playoffs ended one of the Capitals’ previous best chances to win a championship.

NOTES: The Capitals have outscored the Bruins 48-19 during this winning streak. … Reirden expects Wilson to appeal his suspension through the NHL Players’ Association. … Neither Reirden nor Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy would say who’s starting in goal for his team Thursday. … The Capitals set a team record for goals in an opener. … Washington C Nicklas Backstrom became the third player in franchise history to reach 800 points.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Visit the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night in No. 1 pick Rasmus Dahlin ‘s debut.

Capitals: Open the rival Penguins’ season Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

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AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to this report.

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Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/tag/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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