The Washington Capitals opened their 2011-12 preseason schedule Tuesday at the First Mariner Arena in Baltimore as part of the inaugural Baltimore Hockey Classic. Unfortunately for the Caps, Charm City was anything but.
Chris Mueller and Colin Wilson scored for the Nashville Predators as they defeated the Caps 2-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 11,082.
Pekka Rinne and Jeremy Smith combined for the shutout, stopping all 29 Washington shots. Michal Neuvirth played all 60 minutes for the Caps and made 25 saves on 27 shots.
The Caps brought their stars to Baltimore to play in front of the red-clad crowd, but Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Mike Green did not give the fans anything to really cheer about. Part of the blame will likely fall on the poor ice conditions, as the humidity inside First Mariner Arena led to several stoppages in play to clean up puddles of water on the ice surface.
Luckily for the Caps, they will have little time to dwell on their first loss of the season. After practice Wednesday morning a Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the Caps will travel to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets at 7 p.m.