The Washington Capitals are in south Florida, set to take on the Florida Panthers tonight (Thursday) at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Puck drop at 7:30 PM EST. The Capitals will then head northwest to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Saturday night. The Capitals will close-out their three game road trip in Pittsburgh on Monday night.
Philipp Grubauer was the first off the ice this morning, so it looks like he will get the start tonight against the Panthers. Al Montoya looks to get the start in goal tonight for the Panthers. The Capitals lines at morning skate:
As per Isabelle Khurshudyan, Trotz’s policy is that if your dad is here (on father’s trip), you play, so that is probably what’s happening with Chris Brown. Brooks Orpik, on injured reserve, but can return at any time, is on the trip with his father, but did not skate this morning. It looks like Andre Burakovsky, Aaron Ness and Stanislav Galiev will be the healthy scratches for tonight’s game.
Capitals @ Panthers
The Florida Panthers (13-11-4) come into tonight’s game against the Caps winning four of their last six games, but have lost their last two games. Forward Nick Bjugstad is out indefinitely because of an upper-body injury, and will miss the game against the Capitals tonight.
The Capitals (19-5-2) will be looking to stretch their one-point lead over the New York Rangers, who are idle tonight. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in overtime to give the Capitals a 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 31 at BB&T Center. The Capitals have earned a point in 14 consecutive games against the Panthers (2/7/12-10/31/15: 12-0-2) and are 22-4-3 against the Panthers since the start of the 2009-10 season.
News and Notes
- As per Chuck Gormley, Barry Trotz says surgery not an option for Brooks Orpik. Off-ice therapy is the next step for the 35-year-old defenseman.
- The Capitals embarked on their annual fathers trip Wednesday afternoon, which will include the Panthers and Lightning games. On Tuesday, the fathers gathered for practice at Kettler and at Verizon Center for the game against the Red Wings.
- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Nicklas Backstrom‘s career total of 441 assists is the fourth-highest in a player’s first 600 games by anyone who has debuted in the NHL over the last 25 seasons. The only players to enter the NHL since 1990 and earn more assists in their first 600 games are Peter Forsberg (555), Sidney Crosby (534) and Jaromir Jagr (457) (@CapitalsPR)
Chris Brown to make Capitals season debut (WaPo)
Capitals players’ dads tag along on a team road trip to Florida (WaPo)
Capitals embrace new dietary supplements to improve performance (WaPo)
Holtby, Grubauer to split next two games in Florida (WaPo)
Evgeny Kuznetsov’s success this season is owed in part to his friend Pavel Datsyuk (WaPo)
Andre Burakovsky: ‘I’m not even close’ (WaPo)