Capitals Daily Report: Alzner Nears Return, Everybody Else is Set to Go

The Capitals hit the ice on Wednesday to continue preparations for their big series against the Penguins. With Game 1 set for Thursday, the city is eagerly anticipating the Capitals series against the defending Stanley Cup champions. There will be an optional morning skate tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., while puck drop for Game 1 is at 7:30 p.m. 

PRACTICE

Tom Wilson was on the ice for practice after leaving the ice yesterday with a minor injury. Lars Eller was present as well after taking a maintenance day yesterday. Everybody was present at Kettler including Karl Alzner although he’s still recovering from an upper-body injury. Alzner was taking rushes on the extra defensive pair with Taylor Chorney.

Highlights:

Willy talking strategy on how to beat the Penguins.

Wilson proceeded to work on one-timers.

The 2nd line: starring last round’s Game 6 hero, Marcus Johansson

T.J.: “Hey Karl, want to learn a new trick I can do with the puck?”

Great footwork (or skate work) by Chandler Stephenson

Following the conclusion of practice, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jay Beagle took some reps with the puck. On the other end, Evgeny Kuznetsov was working on face-offs.

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

Defense
Schmidt-Carlson
Orlov-Niskanen
Orpik-Shattenkirk
Alzner-Chorney

BEHIND ENEMY LINES

The Penguins held a practice of their own at the UMPC Lemieux Sports Complex over in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. Here, they worked on shots down low near the goal line.

Then they worked on moving the puck along the boards.

Lines:
Forwards
Guentzel-Crosby-Hornqvist
Rust-Malkin-Kessel
Wilson-Bonino-Sheary
Kunitz-Cullen-Kuhnhackl/Rowney

Defense
Cole-Schultz
Dumoulin-Hainsey
Maatta-Daley
Streit-Ruhwedel

Also making an appearance was Carl Hagelin who was wearing a yellow no-contact jersey as he continues to recover from a lower-body injury.

SCENES FROM KETTLER

SHAVINGS

  • This marks the 10th time these teams have met in the playoffs.
  • The Capitals 10 postseason series against the Penguins is their most against a team in franchise playoff history.
  • Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has recorded 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 13 career playoff games against Pittsburgh and he led the Capitals with seven points (two goals, five assists) in six games against the Penguins last postseason.

DAILY LINKS
Caps Fans Prepare to #RockTheRed in Round 2 of 2017 Playoffs (Washington Capitals)
Capitals Report with Mike Vogel and John Walton (Washington Capitals)
Flashback: Before the Capitals, and the birth of the Cap Centre (Neal Augenstein/WTOP)
This Caps and Penguins series might be a classic. It shouldn’t be happening in the second round. (Dan Steinberg/DC Sports Bog)
T.J. Oshie scores in buckets against the Penguins. Caps hope he keeps it up. (Jesse Dougherty/Washington Post)
3 Reasons to Worry About the Pittsburgh Penguins (J.J. Regan/CSN)
3 Reasons to be Optimistic the Caps will Get Past the Penguins (Tarik El-Bashir/CSN)

INTERVIEWS
Nicklas Backstrom

T.J. Oshie

ALL CAPS

By Michael Marzzacco

#CapsPens previews up on our site. #LetsGoCaps #RockTheRed

A post shared by NoVa Caps (@nova_caps) on

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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