News and Notes from Thursday’s Capitals Practice: Latest on Matt Niskanen, Evgeny Kuznetsov as a Goalie and More


The Capitals held an interesting practice on Thursday morning. From drills, to scrimmages, to Evgeny Kuznetsov dressing as a goaltender, Thursday’s session had it all. The Capitals will be off tomorrow before continuing their preparations for Sunday’s game vs. the Blues. Here are the news and the notes direct from Kettler Capitals Iceplex

Matt Niskanen was the first player out on the ice sporting a light blue non-contact jersey. He came out 30 minutes before the 10:30 a.m. practice session begun. Niskanen would head over to the Arlington rink to join the rest of his teammates for the start of practice. Niskanen took part in a few drills

Niskanen left practice about 15 minutes in. Including the pre-practice twirls, Niskanen was out there for about 45 minutes. He missed Tuesday’s game in Carolina with an upper-body injury. Trotz told the media after practice that Niskanen leaving practice early was all part of the plan. As far as Niskanen’s status for Sunday’s game against the Blues, it depends on how much he practices on Saturday and how he feels. The Capitals have the day off tomorrow.



T.J. Oshie once again was placed on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. With just one point from Oshie in the last seven games, Trotz hopes Oshie can increase his production by sharing a top line with Backstrom and Ovechkin. There were no changes to the lines from yesterday’s practice and Andre Burakovsky remained skating as an extra forward.


A shootout before practice officially began.

Holtby looked good in the starter’s net during the speed half-rink drills.

A goal by Devante Smith-Pelly.

An intense puck battle along the boards.

The second power play unit.

After a bunch of drills, it was on to a full rink scrimmage between the top six and bottom six forwards. Yesterday the bottom six got the win in the short rink work. Thanks to a game-winning goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov, the top six got revenge.

The losing team had to skate laps.

Some of the players’ kids came out on the ice after the practice session ended. Here is Jay Beagle’s son Brandt having some fun with John Carlson and Tom Wilson.

Finally, here is Evgeny Kuznetsov giving goaltending a try going up against Philipp Grubauer. For more highlights of Kuznetsov in between the pipes click here.


  • Since Dec. 1, the Capitals have gone 11-2-2, tied for the second-most points (24) during that span in the NHL. The Vegas Golden Knights lead with 25 points.
  • The Capitals have recorded 34 goals at five-on-five since Dec. 1, tied for the third most and have allowed 26 goals, the 13th fewest total.
  • Washington has generated 128 shot attempts from the high-danger areas of the ice (areas immediately surrounding the crease and slot), which is ranked 12th in the NHL.


Evgeny Kuznetsov on donning the goalie pads

By Michael Marzzacco

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1 Response to News and Notes from Thursday’s Capitals Practice: Latest on Matt Niskanen, Evgeny Kuznetsov as a Goalie and More

  1. Pingback: News and Notes from Saturday’s Capitals Practice: How Did Matt Niskanen Look? Is Andre Burakovsky Back In? And Kids Have Shootout Fun with the Pros | NoVa Caps

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