Washington Capitals Daily Report – 3/12

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The Capitals wrap-up their four-game, nine-day road trip tonight  when they face Joel Ward and the Sharks at SAP Center in San Jose. Puck-drop is at 10:30 PM EST.

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The Capitals made their way to Northern California on Friday morning and held practice yesterday at Sharks Ice and this morning at the SAP Center in San Jose. Lines at practice today:

Offensive Lines:
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Oshie
Burakovsky-Kuznetsov-Williams
Chimera-Johansson-Wilson
Winnik-Richards-Beagle

Defensive Pairs:
Alzner-Niskanen
Orpik-Orlov
Weber-Schmidt

Nate Schmidt returned to the starting practice lines today and looks to be in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Sharks. Michael Latta, Stanislav Galiev and Taylor Chorney lo to be the healthy scratches for tonight’s game. Philipp Grubauer was the first goalie off the ice at practice this morning, which means he will get the start in net tonight for the Caps.

Capitals @ Sharks
The Sharks (37-24-6, 80 points) are one of the best road teams in the NHL this season (25 wins) but have not been strong at home (12 wins). Only Toronto has fewer wins on home ice.

The Capitals have won their last two games at the “shark tank”, but prior to that, have found difficulty winning in San Jose. The Caps will continue to look to improve in their first period play. The Caps have yielded the first goal in 12 of the 14 games. The Caps gave up three first period goals against the Kings on Wednesday night.

Philipp Grubauer will get the start tonight for the Caps. Martin Jones, who shut-out the Caps at Verizon Center during the first week of the season, will get the start in net for the Sharks. In his last dozen appearances (seven starts), Grubauer is 6-3-0 with a 1.60 GAA and a .946 save pct. The goalie match-up, provided by @washcaps:

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News and Notes

  • John Carlson could return to practice as early next week.
  • The Capitals finish their longest road trip in five years on Saturday in San Jose against Sharks. The Caps will be gunning for seven out of a possible eight points for the trip.
  • Washington has earned a point in 12 of its last 14 games against Western Conference opponents.
  • The Capitals have posted a 49-13-5 (103 points) record this season. Washington’s 49 wins are tied for the fourth-most wins through a team’s first 67 games of a season in NHL history.
  • Join John Walton at Flight Wine Bar from 4-6pm on Tuesday for the “Caps Talk” radio show before the Caps-Canes game. Located at 777 6th ST NW.
  • The Caps return home for games against Carolina on Tuesday and Nashville on Friday, before hitting the road again three games in a week (at Pittsburgh, Ottawa and New Jersey).
  • In injury news, it was reported on Saturday that the Penguins Evgeni Malkin will miss the next 6-to-8 weeks with an upper-body injury.

Standings

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Other Stories
End of the road – Sharks Game Preview (Dump N’ Chase)
Evgeny Kuznetsov Interview with Mike Vogel – Part 3 of 3 (Monumental Sports)
Two-man advantage (3/12) (Monumental Sports)
Help coming for Sharks’ ‘garbage’ ice surface (CSN Bay Area)
On-ice workouts ‘might be a possibility’ for John Carlson next week (WaPo)
Alex Ovechkin, Wayne Gretzky go on double date in L.A. (WaPo)
Capitals have set a record for consecutive one-goal games (WaPo)
The biggest reason to worry about the Caps’ playoff chances. And why it may not matter. (WaPo)

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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