Strong start fuels Caps’ rout of Bruins
Oshie, Sheary, Eller all score two goals as Washington rolls
BOSTON — T.J. Oshie scored one of his two goals in Washington’s three-goal first-period and former Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara played his first game in front of Boston’s fans in the Capitals’ 8-1 victory Sunday night.
Conor Sheary and Lars Eller each also scored twice, and Tom Wilson and Nic Dowd each had one of the season-high goals scored by the Capitals in their first victory in regulation against Boston this season. The Bruins had gotten at least a point in the clubs’ five previous meetings (3-0-2).
Rookie Vitek Vanecek stopped 34 shots, but lost a chance for his second shutout when Craig Smith scored a power-play goal 3 minutes into the third.
The Bruins played a video tribute for Chara on the Jumbotron midway into the opening period with Washington already leading 2-0.
He got a standing ovation from the TD Garden crowd, which was limited by the state to 12% capacity because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Skating near his bench, Chara appeared touched, raising his stick and clapping back to the crowd before patting his chest with his left glove and waving.
Chara, 44, was the Bruins’ captain for his 14 seasons with the club. He helped the Bruins win the 2011 Stanley Cup, and was a key part of its runner-up teams in 2013 and 2019.
Lundqvist giving up bid to play for Washington
WASHINGTON — Henrik Lundqvist is abandoning a long-shot attempt to return from openheart surgery in time to play for the Washington Capitals this season after a checkup last week showed some inflammation.
Lundqvist tweeted Sunday that the inflammation around his heart requires a few months of rest and recovery. The 39-yearold goaltender had set the goal for himself of trying to join the Capitals before the end of the season.
“Training has been going really well and I’ve been feeling good — but my heart isn’t quite ready,” Lundqvist posted on Twitter.
Lundqvist had open-heart surgery in early January. He was back on the ice less than two months later, but said in late February he was a long time away from deciding on his future.
The Sweden-born goalie who was the face of the New York Rangers for 15 years signed with Washington in October. In midDecember, he announced a heart condition would prevent him from playing.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Devils acquired defenseman
Jonas Siegenthaler from Washington for a 2021 third-round pick.
Washington clears $800,000 in salary-cap space before the trade deadline Monday by dealing one of the eight defensemen on its active roster. New Jersey gets a 23-year-old left shot on the blue line for its rebuilding efforts.
Siegenthaler is a restricted free agent after this season. The 2015 second-round pick from Switzerland has 13 points in 97 regularseason NHL games, all with the Capitals.
New Jersey put veteran defenseman Sami Vatanen on waivers Sunday and could also trade Dmitry Kulikov and Ryan Murray before the deadline.
Blue Jackets trade Foligno to Maple Leafs
The Columbus Blue Jackets traded captain Nick Foligno to the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of a three-team deal.
Columbus receives a 2021 firstand 2022 fourth-round pick from Toronto and retains half of Foligno’s $5.5 million salary-cap hit. The San Jose Sharks get a 2021 fourth-rounder from Toronto for taking 25% of Foligno’s salary to make it work on the Maple Leafs’ books.
Toronto also got forward Stefan Noesen from San Jose.
Foligno, 33, has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 42 games this season. He has been the captain of the Blue Jackets for the past six seasons.
Canadiens acquire Merrill from Red Wings
MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens have bolstered their blue line depth. The club acquired veteran defenseman
Jon Merrill from the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday for a fifth-round draft pick in 2021 and minor league forward Hayden Verbeek.
Merrill appeared in 36 games with the Red Wings in 2020-21, picking up five assists while averaging nearly 20 minutes of ice time. The 29-year-old from Oklahoma City has 12 goals and 66 points in 392 regular-season games with the New Jersey Devils, Vegas Golden Knights and
Red Wings since making his NHL debut in 2013-14.
Verbeek had one goal and two assists with Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League this season.
Predators’ McCarron given two-game suspension
NEW YORK — Nashville Predators forward Michael McCarron was suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of Tampa Bay’s Yanni Gourde.
McCarron was given a match penalty for an illegal check to the head and thrown out of the game Saturday night. He struck Gourde in the head with his left shoulder with 26 seconds to go and the Lightning leading 3-0.
It’s the first supplemental discipline of McCarron’s 74-game NHL career.