Capitals Hold Morning Skate and Scrimmage Ahead of Preseason Home Opener

Photo: @Capitals

Capitals players took to the ice Friday morning at Kettler to either prepare for the third preseason game tonight against the Blues or continue to try to impress the coaches for a spot on the roster. With the Capitals cutting 12 players so far, the roster is now trimmed to 53 players. That includes 30 forwards, 17 defensemen and six goalies. 


First up was the morning skate for players playing in tonight’s game. Jakub Vrana will be taking part in his second preseason game and will skate on the top line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. He will look to follow his impressive performance against Montreal. Backstrom will take part in his first preseason game.

Chandler Stephenson will play in his third consecutive preseason game, as the Caps are taking a good look at him to see if he has what it takes to make the opening night roster. He will play on the third line with Lars Eller and Tom Wilson.

Andre Burakovsky is on the second line with Travis Boyd and Devante Smith-Pelly. Also playing tonight are Lucas Johansen and Christian Djoos. Johansen will be paired on the top with John Carlson while Djoos will be with Taylor Chorney.

Film review while on the ice:

Travis Boyd gets stopped by Pheonix Copley

Boyd also took some rushes with the top line.

Each of the top four lines worked on isolating the left defensemen, trying to force the blueliner to make a decision.

Tonight Braden Holtby will play the first two periods while Copley takes over for the third. For tomorrow’s game against Carolina, Philipp Grubauer will play the first two periods.

Jay Beagle, along with a few others, has yet to play in a preseason game. While he isn’t hurt he does have “tightness”. While not tasting game action quite yet, Beagle has appeared in every practice and scrimmage. It also explains why Stephenson will play tonight. Trotz stated that Stephenson gets an extra preseason game due to the team holding out Beagle as a precaution.

Matt Niskanen and Dmitry Orlov also haven’t played yet but will play in tomorrow’s game against the Hurricanes.

In between the morning skate and the scrimmage I caught up with Mitch Korn who is now the director of goaltending. He said he has enjoyed the new role.

The scrimmage featured guys who weren’t playing in the game tonight. One thing I noticed on the red team was Madison Bowey was paired with Dmitry Orlov. The white team defeated the Red team 2-1. Philipp Grubauer, Adam Carlson, and Parker Milner were the goalies who took part in the scrimmage. Each netminder wasn’t assigned to a particular team, rather they just rotated.

Team white struck first with a goal by Alex Chiasson.

Nathan Walker showed great defense on the red team, stripping the puck away from Matt Nickanen.

Before the second half of the scrimmage began, a shootout took place. Here’s a goal by Chris Bourque.

They were fighting for the puck like crazy in the second half.

Red made a late push but couldn’t tie as white held on to a 2-1 win.

The Capitals will take on the Blues tonight. Puck drop is at 7 PM. Tomorrow the Capitals will hold another morning skate at 10 a.m. followed by a non-game scrimmage at 11:15 a.m. prior to the Capitals home game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

By Michael Marzzacco

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