Notes from Capitals Morning Skate in Edmonton

Photo: @Capitals

The Caps (4-5-1) held Saturday’s morning skate at Rogers Place in Edmonton. Puck drop for tonight’s tilt with the Oilers (3-5-1) is 10:00PM. 

Nicklas Backstrom participated in practice today, and it looks like he will be able to go tonight. Backstrom missed the last game in Vancouver due to illness.

Brett Connolly did not participate in the team’s practice this morning. It’s likely he is done for the remainder of the western Canada road trip. Connolly suffered an “upper body injury” in the Caps previous game in Vancouver, and underwent concussion protocol testing following the game.

Anthony Peluso, who was called up by the Caps on Friday at 5PM, has made his way to Edmonton, and participated in this morning’s skate.

The Capitals lines continue to change, mostly in response to the string of injuries that has besieged the team. This morning, Devante Smith-Pelly was moved up to the second line with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. Alex Chiasson, who was on the Russian line in the last game, was moved down to the 4th,line.

Chandler Stephenson, who scored his first NHL goal in Vancouver, replaces Connolly on Eller’s line. Jakub Vrana returns to the top-six. The Capitals defensive pairings remained the same: Djoos-Carlson, Orpik-Bowey, Orlov-Chorney. Braden Holtby will get the start tonight in goal for the Capitals.

Alex Ovechkin met with the media following the Capitals morning skate. He was asked by Washington media about giving his hat and jacket to a homeless man yesterday on the streets of Edmonton.


The Oilers projected lines for Saturday night include the return of Leon Draisaitl. Draisaitl was injured Oct. 14 against the Jets and sat out practice for a week before going on IR. He came off of IR on Tuesday in time to face the Penguins.

Maroon – McDavid – Draisaitl
Lucic – RNH – Strome
Caggiula – Latest – Kassian
Jokinen – Khaira – Slepyshev


  • Washington posted a 1-1-0 record against Edmonton last season. The Capitals are 36-29-6-1 all-time against the Oilers and 5-2-1 over the last eight meetings.
  • In 14 career games against Edmonton, Alex Ovechkin has lit them up to the tune of 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points.
  • With his assist on Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s goal against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 26, John Carlson passed Sylvain Cote for seventh all-time on the defensemen scorers list in franchise history (Carlson: 271 points, 62g, 209a)
  • The Capitals have lost 4 of their last 5 games and outscored 23-9 in that stretch.

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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2 Responses to Notes from Capitals Morning Skate in Edmonton

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Today I went to get food at the local fusion Asian eatery and they gave me #19 as my table marker (so the folks making/delivering my food would know where to go.) When getting that number, I wondered if it could be a talisman indicating that Nicky would be back.

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