Bortuzzo clipped Kempny with his elbow, and his head appeared to take the brunt of the contact. Kempny stayed down, and trainer Jason Serbus tended to him on the ice. Kempny was able to skate off on his own power, and he was smiling with teammates as made his way to the bench. Washington forward Tom Wilson later fought Bortuzzo in defense of Kempny.
An injury to Kempny, especially in the preseason, would be a blow to a Washington team that was expected to enjoy stability on the blue line with all seven defensemen returning. The team beat St. Louis, 4-0, marking the Capitals' first preseason win. Goaltender Pheonix Copley, who’s expected to replace Philipp Grubauer as Braden Holtby’s backup, had his best exhibition game, a shutout with 42 saves.
Forwards Shane Gersich and Nathan Walker, both vying for depth forward NHL roster spots, each scored a goal. Defenseman Madison Bowey tipped an Alex Ovechkin shot for the third goal, and Chandler Stephenson added the fourth tally into an empty net late in the game.
The Capitals are expected to make a third round of training camp cuts Wednesday, and the team must have its opening-night roster ready by 5 p.m. Oct. 2.