Capitals Daily Report: On the Road Again

Photo: @Capitals

The Capitals begin another tough road trip Tuesday night in Minneapolis. The Caps will play five games in eight days before returning home. Tuesday morning the Caps held an optional skate at Xcel Energy Center to finalize preparations for the Wild. Puck drop is at 8 PM eastern on CSN. 

MORNING SKATE
Braden Holtby was the first goalie off the ice, indicating that he will get the start tonight. The “Holtbeast” has a chance to do something that only legends Martin Brodeur and Evgeni Nabokov have done. His next win will be his 40th of the season and would be the third straight season he’s won at least 40 games, tying Brodeur and Nabokov.

“He’s established himself as a good goaltender and I think he’ll give a lot of credit to the people on the team,” head coach Barry Trotz said after the skate. “He gives us great success and we give him great success. We’ve been a good team and he’s been a big part of it.” Here’s what the Caps lineup is projected to look like tonight:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Oshie
Johansson-Kuznetsov-Williams
Connolly-Eller-Burakovsky
Winnik-Beagle-Wilson

Defensemen
Alzner-Carlson
Orlov-Niskanen
Orpik Shattenkirk

SCENES FROM MINNESOTA

BEHIND ENEMY LINES
Capitals fans will see a familiar face behind the Wild bench tonight. Bruce Boudreau is in his first season as the Wild bench boss. He coached the Caps from November, 2007 to November, 2011, helping lead the Capitals to the playoffs each season.

Devan Dubnyk is expected to get the start in goal for the Wild. Dubnyk carries a 37-19-4 record with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. Here’s what the lineup is projected to look like tonight:

Forwards
Niederreiter-Koivu-Granlund
Coyle-Staal-Parise
Zucker-Hanzal-Pominville
Steward-Haula-White

Defensemen
Suter-Spurgeon
Scandella-Dumba
Bodin-Prosser

“Depth, they’re really strong up the middle. Their defense, especially on the right side are very active. Offensively, they can hurt you in a lot of ways. They’re dangerous… a real complete team,” Trotz said when he was asked what impressed him the most when they faced the Wild two weeks ago.

GAME CHIPS

SHAVINGS

  • Holtby leads the NHL in shutouts with eight, ranks second in goals-against average (2.01) and wins (39) and tied for second in save percentage (.927).
  • The Capitals have posted an 18-11-6 record on the road this season.
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season on Saturday against Arizona, marking the 12th consecutive season he has reached the 30-goal plateau (2005-17).
  • Washington has won four consecutive games against Minnesota and two straight games at Xcel Energy Center.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk earned two assists on Saturday against Arizona, marking his second two-assist game in his last three games. He had two assists last Tuesday against Calgary.
  • Daniel Winnik scored two goals on Saturday against the Coyotes, marking his sixth career multi-goal game.
  • Taylor Chorney (Shattuck-St. Mary’s), Matt Niskanen (Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl). T.J. Oshie (Warroad) and Nate Schmidt (St. Cloud Cathedral) played high school hockey in Minnesota. Niskanen (University of Minnesota Duluth) and Schmidt (University of Minnesota) also played college hockey in Minnesota.

DAILY LINKS
Game Notes at Minnesota, 3/27/17 (Capitals PR)
Caps Take To the Road (Mike Vogel)
SKATE SHAVINGS: News and Notes From Caps’ Morning Skate (Mike Vogel)

INTERVIEWS
Two-Man Advantage

Barry Trotz

Rinkside Update: Tom Wilson

 

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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