With just one week left in the preseason, a few players on the Washington Capitals are still fighting to make the team. Three of those players were the shining stars Monday.
Playing on a line together, Chris Bourque, Mathieu Perreault and Cody Eakin combined for six points and led the Caps to a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Verizon Center.
Bourque had three assists, Perreault had a goal and an assist and Eakin had a goal for the Caps, each making an individual claim to one of the last remaining roster spots.
"It's the kind of game we need to keep playing," Bourque said. "Energizing the team, buzzing around their zone, creating scoring chances for ourselves and capitalizing on them like we did."
Dennis Wideman also scored for the Caps, who took an early lead on Wideman's power play goal and never looked back. Michal Neuvirth made 22 saves on 23 shots for his first preseason win. Vinny Prospal broke up Neuvirth's shutout bid with a rebound goal in the third period.
With just three preseason games left and inspired play from Bourque, Perreault and Eakin, head coach Bruce Boudreau's job of finalizing the roster just got tougher.
"They all played pretty good," Boudreau said. "The energy they showed was really uplifting. They really played well together. Sometimes if you play with guys you're more comfortable with, you don't feel like [you] have to impress them."