Notes from Capitals’ Morning Skate in Vancouver

Photo: @Capitals

The Capitals (4-4-1) held a morning skate at Rogers Arena in Vancouver ahead of their game tonight against the Vancouver Canucks (5-3-1). Tonight’s game marks the first game of a critical road stretch for the Capitals, as it is the first of three games in four nights. Puck drop is at 10:00 PM on NBC Sports Washington. The Capitals will conclude the road trip this weekend in Edmonton on Saturday and Calgary on Sunday. 

NEWS
Nicklas Backstrom did not skate with the team due to an illness. His status for tonight is a game-time decision.

THE LATEST LINES
With Backstrom’s potential absence, the second line of Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Alex Chiasson has become the first line. Hershey recall Chandler Stephenson, who was brought up with Andre Burakovsky’s injury, skated on the second line. The defensive pairs remained the same as yesterday.

Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Chiasson
Wilson-Stephenson-Oshie
Connolly-Eller-Vrana
Walker-Beagle-DSP
Djoos-Carlson
Orpik-Bowey
Orlov-Chorney

The top power play unit was adjusted due to Backstrom’s unknown status tonight.

INTERVIEWS

FROM THE OTHER SIDE
The Canucks (5-3-1) have been on a roll of late, securing eight of a possible 10 points. Vancouver returns home after a road win over the Wild on Tuesday night. The Canucks held an optional skate that was attended by 12 players and both goaltenders.

Head coach Travis Green mentioned that Loui Eriksson and Alexander Edler, both with knee injuries that sideline them from four-to-six weeks, skated today.

SHAVINGS

  • The Capitals are 44-39-9-1 all-time against the Canucks and 5-3-0 over the last eight meetings.
  • Washington has won four consecutive games against the Canucks (Oct. 22 , 2015-Dec. 11, 2016), marking their longest winning streak against Vancouver since they won five straight games from March 12, 1996 to March 28, 1998.
  • T.J. Oshie has earned 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in 25 career games against the Canucks, marking the sixth-most points he has earned against an NHL team.
  • The Capitals posted a 13-4-0 record against Canadian teams last season.
  • Last season, the Capitals were 19-8-1 against Western Conference opponents.

Hockey tonight in Vancouver! #CapsNucks #ALLCAPS

A post shared by Washington Capitals (@capitals) on

Related articles:
Nicklas Backstrom Could Be Out With Illness against Canucks on Thursday
Game Preview: Capitals @ Canucks
The Road Ahead: Capitals Face a Big, Early Season Test in Western Canada

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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