News and Notes from Thursday’s Capitals Morning Skate: New Third Line Member!


After a day off on Wednesday, the Capitals returned to the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Thursday morning for a morning skate. Tonight, they’ll begin a home-and-home set with the Carolina Hurricanes at Capital One Arena before the series shifts back to Raleigh, North Carolina on Friday night. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Here are the news and the notes as the Caps prepared for the Hurricanes. 



There’s a new member of the third line. Joining Lars Eller and T.J. Oshie is Andre Burakovsky, who is in Brett Connolly’s usual spot. Connolly will be a healthy scratch.

Alex Chiasson is back into the lineup and is skating on the fourth line with Jay Beagle and Chandler Stephenson. There are no changes to the top six or the defense. On the blue line, Taylor Chorney will be a healthy scratch.

When the Capitals are typically in a back-to-back situation, they’ll use either Braden Holtby or Philipp Grubauer for the first game and then the other for the second. Holtby was in the starter’s net and was taking shots from the defensemen towards the end of practice which points to Holtby getting the start in goal for tonight’s game. Grubauer will get the nod tomorrow night in Carolina.

When Trotz met with reporters he mentioned that he was “supremely disappointed” that John Carlson wasn’t named to the All Star Game. Yesterday in a radio interview with the Sports Junkies, Trotz said that it would be criminal if Carlson didn’t get voted into the All Star Game.

With the Capitals heading into a bye week beginning on Saturday, Trotz told the media that the team might send Madison Bowey and Jakub Vrana down to Hershey. The won’t require waivers but the assignment would be for salary cap reasons. They won’t be playing.

Trotz also said that the Connolly scratch isn’t because he’s been playing poorly. With two goals in the last five games, he’s playing fine but just trying to keep everyone involved, which means rotating players before the team gets the mandatory five-days off.


  • The Capitals are 93-52-14-8 all-time against the Hurricanes and 52-24-4-4 at Capital One Arena.
  • The Capitals are riding a season-high 10 game home win streak, the longest home win streak in the NHL this season and are the only NHL team without a home loss since the beginning of December.
  • Braden Holtby will appear in the All Star game for the third straight season which is a franchise record total for goaltenders.
  • The Caps won their last meeting with the Hurricanes on Jan. 2 5-4 on Alex Ovechkin’s overtime goal.
  • Washington is 5-1-2 on the front end of back-to-backs and 3-5-0 on the second game of back-to-backs.
  • The Capitals have earned a point in 13 of their last 16 games against the Hurricanes (12-3-1) and has posted a 24-8-3 record against Carolina since 2010-11.
  • John Carlson’s 34 points (5 goals, 29 assists) and 29 assists rank second among NHL defensemen this season.
  • Tonight former Capital Justin Williams makes his return to Capital One Arena for the first time since signing with the Hurricanes over the summer.



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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1 Response to News and Notes from Thursday’s Capitals Morning Skate: New Third Line Member!

  1. Pingback: Capitals Recall Travis Boyd from Hershey | NoVa Caps

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