News and Notes from Monday’s Capitals Practice: What’s Matt Niskanen’s Status?

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The Capitals took the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex for the first practice of 2018. Washington looks to build off their 2017 success, continue down road to the playoffs, and accomplish the big goal in 2018. That all started today at the rink as the Capitals prepared for a road date in Carolina on Tuesday. Here are the news and notes. 

LINES

Ovechkin-Backstrom-DSP
Vrana-Kuznetsov-Oshie
Connolly-Eller-Wilson
Stephenson-Beagle-Chiasson/Burakovsky
Djoos-Carlson
Orlov-Chorney
Orpik-Bowey
Holtby
Grubauer

NEWS
Once again, Matt Niskanen wasn’t at practice. After taking a maintenance day on Sunday, the Capitals said this morning that Niskanen is day-to-day with an upper body injury. It is unlikely Niskanen will suit up for tomorrow’s game.

While it looks unlikely Niskanen will play tomorrow night, Trotz didn’t completely rule him out. After Tuesday, the Capitals won’t play in another game until Sunday afternoon when they host the Blues. That would give Niskanen a week’s worth of rest. Niskanen however won’t travel with the team to Carolina today.

PRACTICE VIDEO
Devante Smith-Pelly was one of the first skaters out on the ice before practice officially began.

On the other side of the rink were T.J. Oshie, Alex Chiasson, and Jakub Vrana. Vrana looks on as Oshie worked on his puck deflection skills.

Vrana would get some touches from some cross-ice passes from both Oshie and Chiasson before the team headed to the other rink for practice.

Christian Djoos in action in some 3-on-2 work.

Braden Holtby looked good this morning. Here he stops Alex Ovechkin.

In addition, Holtby stopped Oshie and Madison Bowey.

Back to the Capitals rink for more work. Andre Burakovsky showed great energy in this full rink drill, as he hopes to be back in the lineup soon.

Tom Wilson and Lars Eller nearly score.

Your first look at the power play units in the new year.

The top power play unit broke through on a goal by Nicklas Backstrom. “WOOOOOOOO!!!!”

Brett Connolly goal.

Oshie had some fun with some pucks before “getting the puck out of here”.

SHAVINGS

  • The Capitals are 17-7-3 with Matt Niskanen in the lineup; 7-6-0 when he isn’t. (Ben Raby)
  • Braden Holtby recorded 49 wins in 2017, trailing only Martin Brodeur (51) for most in a calendar year in NHL history. (Matt Williams)
  • Over the last 20 games, the Capitals are 14-4-2 and are one of just three teams with 14 wins since Nov. 18 (Vegas: 16; Boston: 14).

INTERVIEWS
Barry Trotz

Madison Bowey

RINKSIDE UPDATE: Jakub Vrana

CAPITALS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

SCENES FROM KETTLER

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The Capitals break the huddle to begin drills.

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Brett Connolly looks on as he waits his turn to shoot.

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Tom Wilson looks on as a teammate shoots the puck.

The Capitals will hold a morning skate tomorrow at PNC Arena at 11:30 a.m. before their game against the Hurricanes.

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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4 Responses to News and Notes from Monday’s Capitals Practice: What’s Matt Niskanen’s Status?

  1. Pingback: Capitals Cruise to Carolina | NoVa Caps

  2. Pingback: Capitals Look for Improvement on Power Play in 2018 | NoVa Caps

  3. Pingback: News and Notes from Tuesday’s Capitals Morning Skate: Where’s Nicklas Backstrom? | NoVa Caps

  4. Pingback: News and Notes from Tuesday’s Capitals Morning Skate: Updates on Matt Niskanen and Nicklas Backstrom | NoVa Caps

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