Game Day Preview: St. Louis Blues @ Washington Capitals

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The Washington Capitals take to the ice tonight for their fourth of seven preseason games when they host the St. Louis Blues at Verizon Center. Puck-drop is 7:00 PM. 

Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom make their preseason debuts Monday night. Philipp Grubauer, also fresh off the World Cup of Hockey, will also be on the roster tonight. Braden Holtby will get the start for the Capitals. Final rosters for Monday night’s tilt:


Defensive Pairs:

Dmitry Orlov and John Carlson were paired in Sunday’s team scrimmage at Kettler, and will be together again on Monday night. Coach Trotz mentioned this pairing during the summer, hoping to give Orlov top-four time.

As far as the prospect watch, Zach Sanford, one of the “bubble” players with a shot at making this years team, will be in the lineup. Sanford will be on a wing with Lars Eller for this contest. This could be Sanford’s last chance to make an impression, as Trotz said most of the final cuts will be coming towards the end of the week.

The Wizard of Auz, Nathan Walker will also return to the lineup Monday night. Walker has been strong in previous preseason games to this point. Tonight’s contest will be a big one for Walker.

Marcus Johansson – Johansson sustained a lower body injury in the first period of Saturday’s game against the Islanders. Marcus took an awkward looking fall in the game, stretching his leg in unnatural fashion. He would leave the game and not return. Status: Johansson was the first player on the ice before practice this morning, skating on his own for about 35 minutes. Johansson will not play tonight.

Madison Bowey – Bowey sustained an upper body injury in Saturday night’s game against the Islanders. Bowey did not skate with the team on Sunday. Status: Bowey is listed as “day-to-day”, and will not play in tonight’s contest versus the Blues.

Tom Wilson – Wilson sustained an upper body Injury in the first preseason game last Monday (Carolina Hurricanes). Status: Skating, day-to-day.

Nate Schmidt – Injured on the first day of training camp. Status: fully recovered, Schmidt played on Saturday night against the Islanders, and scored the Capitals first goal of the game.

Former Capital Mike Weber, now on a professional tryout (PTO) with St. Louis will also be making his return to Verizon Center.  The two teams will go at it again Wednesday night, this time at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Wednesday’s game will not be televised.

Head coach Barry Trotz spoke with the media following Monday morning’s practices:

The Capitals remaining preseason schedule:


More on tonight’s game from the Capitals here:

By Jon Sorensen

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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 interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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