- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 9, 2003

HENRY CLAIMED, FORTIN, BERRY CLEAR — The Caps went two for three in getting their final cuts through waivers. Defensemen Rick Berry and J.F. Fortin both went unclaimed and were sent to Portland of the American Hockey League. However, left wing Alex Henry was grabbed by Minnesota. Henry, who went scoreless with 80 penalty minutes in 38 games with the Caps last season, had been competing with Stephen Peat for the enforcer role in training camp before suffering a concussion in the Oct. 1 preseason game with Philadelphia.

ROOKIES — Caps rookie defenseman Steve Eminger has given up No. 44 for No. 8. Rookie right wing Alexander Semin has discarded No. 74 in favor of No. 28. While Semin was scratched, fellow rookie Boyd Gordon made his NHL debut, centering Kip Miller and Jaromir Jagr on Washington’s top line. Journeyman defenseman John Gruden and newly acquired right wing Brian Willsie also played in their first games for the Caps.

PERFECT RECORDS — Last night’s visitor, the New York Islanders, compiled a 7-0 record in preseason under rookie coach Steve Stirling, outscoring their opponents 26-8. However, the Caps swept the Islanders 4-0 last year in pushing their home unbeaten streak against them to 14 games dating to April 12, 1997, when the Caps played at US Airways Arena. Washington is 26-1-5 in its last 32 games overall against the Islanders after going 3-29-4 in the first 37 matchups from 1974 to 1982.

OPENING NIGHT — In the past 10 years, the Caps were 7-2-1-0 in home openers and 6-3-1-0 in season openers. This was Washington’s first season opener against the Islanders, but the Caps lost their 1983-1984 home opener to them 8-7 and beat them 5-2 in 1995-1996.

David Elfin

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