News and Notes From Capitals’ Morning Skate: T.J.’s Back!

Photo: @Capitals

The Capitals held their morning skate at American Airlines Arena Tuesday morn My after arriving in Dallas yesterday. The Capitals start a three-game Western Conference road trip tonight against the Stars after playing 11 of their last 14 games at home. NBC Sports Washington Plus will have the telecast for an 8:30 puck drop at American Airlines Center. 

T.J. Oshie Returns

Oshie told reporters that he’s “symptom-free,” according to Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post. Oshie missed six games due to a concussion sustained from a hit to the head from Sharks’ center Joe Thornton on December 4 in the Capitals’ 4-1 victory over San Jose.

Oshie will draw back into his regular spot on the second line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jakub Vrana. The Caps went 5-1-0 while Oshie was out, propelling them tied for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals can take over sole possession of the division with a win in Dallas tonight.

“It means relief,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “It means that we’ve got a little depth. We were playing with house money a little bit.”

News

The Edmonton Oilers placed former-Capitals winger Nathan Walker on waivers Tuesday morning after registering a -1 rating in two games with the Oilers. The Oilers claimed him off of waivers from the Capitals on December 1. The Capitals will have a chance to claim him back, meaning if they do, he will be sent to Hershey. Walker scored one goal in seven games with the Capitals and last played with the team in a 6-2 loss at the Colorado Avalanche on November 16.

Braden Holtby will start against the Stars, the only team he has not won against in his whole career. He has a 0-4-1 record with an .837 save percentage and a 4.78 goals against average in five career games against Dallas.

With Oshie returning, Devante Smith-Pelly will draw out of the lineup.

Stars News

Defenseman Mark Methot will not play for the Stars Tuesday against Washington. He skated before the Stars’ morning skate and has been out since November 20 with knee surgery.

They traded defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a conditional 2019 fourth-round pick.

The Stars kick off a stretch where they play nine out of the next ten games at home, including a seven-game homestand.

Ben Bishop will start against the Capitals. This season, Bishop is 13-9-1 with a .910 save percentage and a 2.71 goals against average. Lifetime against the Capitals, he is 2-6-1 with a .891 save percentage and a 3.42 goals against average.

Capitals Lines vs. Stars

Shavings

-The Capitals will play their next four games on the road. They are 7-7-1 in 15 games away from Capital One Arena.

Alex Chiasson had 19 goals and 42 points in 86 career games with the Stars from 2012-14. He was traded to the Ottawa Senators on July 1, 2014, as part of the Jason Spezza trade.

-The Capitals are 8-6-0 in 14 games against the Western Conference this season, including  3-2-0 against the Central Division. Both of the losses came on the road in Nashville and Colorado.

-The Capitals’ 21 wins this season are tied for third best in the league with the Vegas Golden Knights and the Predators. Only the Tampa Bay Lightning (24) and the St. Louis Blues (22) have more wins than the Capitals.

-Star Strikers: Alex Ovechkin has 8 goals and 11 points in 14 career games vs. the Stars. T.J. Oshie has 11 goals and 23 points in 26 career games against the Stars; Oshie’s +16 +/- rating against the Stars is his highest +/- rating against a single opponent in his NHL career.

-The Stars allow the second-fewest shots against per game, averaging 29.56 shots per game (first: the Carolina Hurricanes give up an average of 29.50 shots per game)

-The Capitals are 3-10-2 all-time against the Stars, losing nine-straight games against Dallas before winning in Dallas last year with a 4-3 overtime victory.

-Last year’s victory over Dallas was the first time the Capitals won in Dallas since 2006 when the beat them 4-3.

Game Notes:

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By Harrison Brown

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About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was seeing T.J. Oshie's hat-trick​ during Game 1 of the Caps' second round playoff series against Pittsburgh in 2016. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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2 Responses to News and Notes From Capitals’ Morning Skate: T.J.’s Back!

  1. Pingback: DC = Dangle City: Dmitry Orlov Scores a Highlight-Reel Goal in Dallas | NoVa Caps

  2. Pingback: Andre Burakovsky Scores Twice in Dallas, Makes Big Impact in Capitals Overtime Win | NoVa Caps

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