TORONTO, ON – The Washington Capitals were looking for a spark in Game 3 of their first round series against the New York Islanders and made a few lineup changes.
One of those changes saw second-year pro Brian Pinho make his NHL debut.
The forward logged 8:11 of game action and finished with a minus-one rating without logging any points. Pinho replaced another Hershey skater in Travis Boyd for the game.
Pinho made his NHL debut after excelling in his sophomore season with the Hershey Bears, where he tallied 20 goals and 17 assists for 37 points in 62 games, tripling his production from his rookie season. His incredible season started at the end of his rookie year in the spring of 2019, where he scored in overtime in Game 5 in Hershey’s first round series win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Pinho came in with an excellent training camp and likely would have been a huge part of Hershey’s success in the postseason, which unfortunately was unable to be held. Pinho captured the Dan Sernoffsky Award for Hershey’s Most Improved Player at the end of the season and had a fantastic training camp when the Capitals returned to action, scoring a goal in a training camp scrimmage.
Pinho led the Bears in shorthanded goals (four), and was tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (four). Although the Capitals lost Sunday’s contest in overtime (thanks to a goal from Mathew Barzal), the forward made a good impression skating between Carl Hagelin and Ilya Kovalchuk on the Caps’ third line. It will be interesting to see if he impressed enough to earn another start on Tuesday as the Capitals look to avoid elimination and turn around a 3-0 series deficit.
Also of note was the return of Martin Fehervary to the Washington lineup after making his first postseason appearance earlier in the playoffs. The rookie blueliner skated for 11:31 and finished with no points and an even rating.
Having the two Hershey skaters in the lineup added a familiar chocolate flavor to the Capitals lineup and has been great to see for fans of the Chocolate and White (not to mention Matt Moulson signing to return for the 2020-21 season).