News and Notes from Thursday’s Optional Skate at Kettler: Updates on Christian Djoos and Chandler Stephenson as Caps Gear Up for Bruins

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The Capitals not only lost a shootout heartbreaker last night in New York, they were blanked for the second game in a row. Despite Philipp Grubauer having an incredible game with 37 saves, the Capitals couldn’t provide a goal or two to give him the win. The Capitals offense hasn’t lit the lamp in the last 145:01, with their last tally coming early in the third period in Arizona. The Capitals will look to turn things around tonight against the Bruins, a team that they have beaten in their last 11 meeting. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. Prior to the game, the team held an optional skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex

ATTENDANCE
Forwards
Tom Wilson, Andre Burakovsky, Chandler Stephenson, Nathan Walker

Defense
Christian Djoos, Madison Bowey, Taylor Chorney

Goalies
Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubuaer

NEWS
Chandler Stephenson, after missing both yesterday’s morning skate and the game vs. the Rangers due to an illness, was back on the ice for the optional skate. Nathan Walker was also here for the optional. Walker was the team’s extra forward in last night’s game with Stephenson sick. The Capitals had him remain with the club this morning as a precaution until they knew whether or not Stephenson was well enough to suit up for tonight’s game.

With the NHL roster freeze ending at midnight this morning, Walker was assigned to Hershey indicating that Stephenson will likely play tonight. Barry Trotz will address the media at 5:30 p.m. and will confirm.

Christian Djoos, who was struck in the face by a puck in the third period last night, was also on the ice. He went to the dressing room last night but came back out all stitched up when the game went into overtime. Djoos’ right side of his face is swollen and he had eight stitches last night. Djoos said after the skate that he is clear to play tonight.

“I feel good. Sh*t happens, but it hit me in a good spot,” Djoos told reporters after the skate.

After Grubauer got the start last night, Braden Holtby is expected to get the nod in goal tonight. Holtby has had a ton of success against the Bruins with a 13-2-0 record with a .942 save percentage and a 1.90 goals against average in his career, including three shutouts. Holtby was the first goalie off the ice, so that indicates he will start.

SHAVINGS

  • The Capitals are 59-68-21-8 all-time against the Bruins and 11-0-0 over the last four seasons.
  • The Capitals’ 11 consecutive wins over the Bruins is their longest winning streak against Boston in franchise history. No other team has a perfect record with double digit wins against any other opponent over the last four seasons in the NHL.
  • This season, the Capitals have recorded 14 wins at Capital One Arena, the fourth-most wins in the NHL and the Caps are currently on a six-game winning streak on home ice.
  • Nicklas Backstrom has earned 36 points (7 goals, 29 assists) in 33 career games against the Bruins and has earned a goal in 10 of his last 11 games against Boston (3 goals, 12 assists).
  • Alex Ovechkin has registered 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists) in 44 career games against Boston.
  • Philipp Grubauer’s 37 saves last night were just one save shy of the single-game mark set by Braden Holtby. Holtby did it twice with the most recent 38-save game occurring on Oct. 28 at Edmonton.
  • Over the last 18 games, the Capitals are 12-4-2 and are one of just three teams with 12 wins since Nov. 18 (Vegas, Boston) through games played Dec. 26.

CAPITALS TODAY

GAME NOTES

CAPITALS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Sooo happy #capitals

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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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2 Responses to News and Notes from Thursday’s Optional Skate at Kettler: Updates on Christian Djoos and Chandler Stephenson as Caps Gear Up for Bruins

  1. Pingback: BREAKING NEWS: Capitals Assign Nathan Walker to Hershey | NoVa Caps

  2. Pingback: Pregame News Links: Bruins at Capitals – Holtby, Capitals Look to Continue Streak Against Red-Hot Bruins | NoVa Caps

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