Capitals Daily Report: Optional Skate, Bruins Prep, and Kuzy Gets Recognized

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Coming off a 3-2 road loss last night to the Islanders, the Capitals will look to bounce back tonight in front of their home fans as they host the Boston Bruins at Verizon Center. Puck drop is at 8:00 PM and will be a part of NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry showcase. 

This morning the Capitals held an optional skate at Kettler to begin final preparations for tonight’s contest.

Kuznetsov said it best last night. For more information on tonight’s game, check out our game preview here.

MORNING SKATE
Chandler Stephenson was on the ice during today’s optional skate but the other call-up from Monday, Christian Djoos, wasn’t. The club confirmed that Djoos was re-assigned to Hershey. Djoos’ return to Hershey now leaves the Capitals with a 22-man roster that includes one extra forward and an additional defenseman.

There were nine total players present for the optional skate:

After Philipp Grubauer got the start in Brooklyn last night, the Capitals will turn to Braden Holtby tonight in goal. The Bruins didn’t hold a morning skate today, so right now it’s unclear who will get the start in goal for them.

The league announced this morning that Evgeny Kuznetsov was named the NHL’s First Star in the month of January. Kuznetsov had a great month of January for the second year in a row (he received the same honor last season). He finished tied for first in the NHL with 20 points in 15 games in the month of January, which included seven goals, 13 assists and a +13 rating.

“It’s all about the team game and we all played great (in the month of January). Sometimes you get some points and some goals but that’s more from all five guys on the ice,” said Kuznetsov. “Of course this honor means a lot for my parents and my family.”

EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

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GAME CHIPS

  • Tonight is the second of three meetings between the Capitals and Bruins this season.
  • The Caps won the last meeting on Dec. 7 at Verizon Center in overtime, 4-3.
  • These teams will meet again in the second-to-last game of the regular season on April 8 in Boston.
  • For a preview of tonight’s game click here.

SHAVINGS

  • The Capitals are second in the NHL for ES Possession Time per game (14:46). They lead the NHL for OZ Possession-Time per game (05:25). (SPORTLOGiQ)
  • After missing six games, defenseman John Carlson played 20:42 in his first game back last night against the Islanders.
  • The Capitals posted a 12-2-1 record during the month of January.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov’s 20 points in the month of January were the most in a month by a Capitals player since Alex Ovechkin had 22 points (14 goals, eight assists) in April 2013.
  • The Capitals have posted a 19-5-1 record at home this season and have won seven consecutive home games.
  • Kuznetsov recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in last night’s game against the Islanders, marking his fourth multi-point game in his last six games.
  • Alex Ovechkin has earned 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in his last 11 games and 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in his last 19 games.
  • Braden Holtby has posted a 10-2-0 record in his career against the Bruins with three shutouts, a 1.69 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage.

DAILY LINKS
Caps Return Home to Host Bruins (Mike Vogel)
Game Notes vs. Boston, 2/1/17 (Capitals PR)
Evgeny Kuznetsov Named NHL’s “First Star” for January
Capitals Re-assign Djoos to Hershey
What’s the Fouss? The Lack of Effort and Seriousness Makes the NHL All-Star Game Boring

INTERVIEWS
Evgeny Kuznetsov after being named NHL’s First Star of the Month of January

By Michael Marzzacco

About Michael Marzzacco

Michael is an avid DC sports fan with a passion for writing. He has followed the Washington Capitals since the 2003-04 season, around the time his enthusiasm for DC teams really began. It was from the days when they had the worst record in the league to when they became the most exciting team in the area. His Dad took him to his first Caps game a couple of years later. One of his favorite memories was being in the stands during the 2015 Winter Classic where Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with 12 seconds left. Michael graduated from Radford University in May 2016, earning a degree in journalism and focusing on sports journalism and broadcasting. His goal is to work in sports media in Washington, D.C.
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