News and Notes from Tuesday’s Capitals Morning Skate: Updates on Matt Niskanen and Nicklas Backstrom

Photo: @Capitals

The Capitals begin the 2018 calendar year with a road game in Carolina against Justin Williams and the Hurricanes. This marks the only game for the Capitals this week as they’ll get four days off before hosting the St. Louis Blues this Sunday. Here are the news and notes from the team’s morning skate at PNC Arena


Goalie in the starter’s net: Braden Holtby

Defenseman Matt Niskanen didn’t join the team in Carolina as he’s still recovering from an upper-body injury. Nicklas Backstrom remained at the team hotel and did not skate. He is sick and will be a game-time decision.

Andre Burakovsky, after being scratched from the lineup in Saturday’s game against the Devils, was taking rushes on the fourth-line alongside Jay Beagle and Alex Chiasson. With Backstrom absent at the skate, Burakovsky was placed on the top power play unit. Christian Djoos took Matt Niskanen’s spot on the second power play unit.

Though Backstrom didn’t skate this morning, Barry Trotz was optimistic about his chances of playing tonight.




  • The Capitals are 106-74-13-14 all-time against the Hurricanes and 41-28-10-4 when facing them away.
  • Over the last 20 games, the Capitals are 14-4-2 and are one of just three teams with 14 wins since November 18 (Vegas: 15; Boston: 14) through games played December 31.
  • During that 20-game stretch, the Capitals have scored 64 goals and allowed 47, which is tied for eighth and ranked sixth respectively in the NHL.
  • Washington has earned a point in 12 of its last 15 games against the Hurricanes (11-3-1) and has posted a 23-8-3 record against Carolina since 2010-2011.
  • Alex Ovechkin has earned 80 points (33 goals, 47 assists) in 69 career games against the Hurricanes, marking the third-most points he has earned against an opponent (Winnipeg: 88, Tampa Bay: 84).
  • Nicklas Backstrom has earned 53 points (14 goals, 39 assists) in 49 career games against the Hurricanes, marking the second-most points he has registered against an NHL franchise (Tampa Bay: 56 points).
  • In 23 games this season against Eastern Conference opponents, the Capitals are 15-6-2 and their 32 points is tied for the second-most in the NHL.


By Michael Marzzacco

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1 Response to News and Notes from Tuesday’s Capitals Morning Skate: Updates on Matt Niskanen and Nicklas Backstrom

  1. Pingback: Scratched: Andre Burakovsky Looks to Regain Form as he Goes Through Another Trial | NoVa Caps

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