Notes from Capitals’ Optional Skate at Kettler

After a thrilling come-from-behind win in Detroit last night, the Capitals held an optional morning skate ahead of their second game of a back-to-back. For the second week in a row, the Capitals take part in a Friday-Saturday back-to-back affair, but unlike last week, it’s an away-home doubleheader of sorts. Tonight the Capitals welcome the Florida Panthers. 

The Morning Lines
Since it was an optional skate, not every player was on the ice. In fact, there were only two players out on the ice and those were defensemen Aaron Ness and left winger Nathan Walker.

This is what the lines will likely look like in tonight’s game:


Defensive pairs:

After Braden Holtby got the start last night, Philipp Grubauer will get the start in goal for tonight’s game. Grubauer looks to bounce back from a tough outing against Philadelphia a week ago.

Matt Niskanen, who suffered an upper-body injury on Friday the 13th at New Jersey, was on the ice skating around in full gear prior to the morning skate. He is eligible to come off long-term injured reserve on Nov. 7 for their game in Buffalo.

After tonight’s game, the Capitals are off until Thursday when they start their annual Canadian Western swing, with stops in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.

From the other side:
The Panthers did not hold a skate this morning. They are coming off a loss to the Penguins last night on home ice by a final of 4-3.

Roberto Luongo got the start for the Cats last night in Sunrise, so look for backup James Reiner to get the nod tonight. Their projected lines for tonight:

Huberdeau – Aleksander -Barkov – Dadonov
McGinn – Trocheck – Vrbata
Bjugstad – McCann – Tippett
Haley – MacKenzie – Sceviour

Defensive pairs:
Yandle – Ekblad
Weegar – Pysyk
Matheson – Petrovic


  • Alex Ovechkin’s overtime goal last night was the 20th of his career. It places him in first place all-time in overtime goals, as he bypassed Jaromir Jagr (19).
  • Andre Burakovsky is one point shy of 100 career points
  • The Capitals have earned a point in 16 of their last 19 games against the Panthers (14-3-2) and have won 11 of their last 13 games at Capital One Arena against Florida (11-2-0)

By Michael Marzzacco

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1 Response to Notes from Capitals’ Optional Skate at Kettler

  1. I wish the team would play Walker more. His speed is one of his biggest weapons and some of the teams the Caps have faced have had some very fast players themselves. Hoping Walker is in the lineup soon!

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