News and Notes from Saturday’s Capitals Morning Skate in Chicago: A Big Milestone for Trotz and Winning for the Dads

DWQF3ETW0AEiCcs.jpg-largePhoto: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals will conclude their annual Father’s Trip on Saturday night as they’ll take on Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks. Prior to the game, the team held a morning skate at United Center. The Capitals look to conclude the father’s trip on a high note after winning on Thursday night in Minnesota. Should they win over Chicago, they would finish this season out undefeated with all their dads in the stands. Since 2008, the Capitals are 13-5-0 all-time in the fathers and mentors trips. Here are the news and notes to get you geared up for tonight’s game. Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m. eastern. 

THE MORNING LINES

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilson
Chiasson-Kuznetsov-Oshie
Connolly-Eller-Burakovsky
Stephenson-Beagle-Smith-Pelly
Defense
Djoos-Carlson
Orlov-Niskanen
Orpik-Bowey
Starter’s net: Braden Holtby

Scratches: Jakub Vrana (F) and Taylor Chorney (D)

NEWS
Tonight, Barry Trotz will coach in his 1,500th NHL game. His long and storied coaching career began on Oct. 10, 1998 which was the first ever game for the Nashville Predators where they fell to the Florida Panthers 1-0. Most recently back on Dec. 30, Trotz earned his 737th career win which passed Lindy Ruff for fifth on the NHL’s all-time coaching wins list. Since joining the Capitals in the 2014-15 season, Trotz has posted a record of 189-80-34 with the Caps.

The lines this morning were the same as practice on Friday afternoon. Trotz wants to play every player during the two-game stretch with their dads in the stands. For the forwards, Alex Chiasson will be in on the second line for Jakub Vrana.

On the defense Madison Bowey will be in for Taylor Chorney, who got to play in the previous game at his hometown of Minnesota on Thursday night. Chorney grew up in nearby Hastings.

Braden Holtby will go up against Anton Forsberg in the goaltending matchup. Holtby carries a 28-10-4 record with a 2.82 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. In his career against the Blackhawks, Holtby is 7-2-0 with a 2.21 GAA and .930 save percentage. Forsberg is 5-11-3 on the season with a 3.06 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.

From the national anthem, to the drop of the puck, to the 60-minutes of action, tonight’s atmosphere at United Center is sure to be electric. When Trotz spoke with the media, he acknowledged how loud Blackhawks fans are.

“Have you heard the crowd? Have you heard the national anthem. I’ve spent many nights in here feeling like I was under water. They come at you hard, they’ve got a lot of energy on a Saturday here and it’s a fantastic building to play in,” said Trotz.

It’ll be a tough road environment but with their fathers in the stands cheering them on, the Caps should feel right at home.

CAPS TODAY

GAME NOTES

SHAVINGS

  • Washington is 43-41-11-1 all-time against Chicago.
  • The Capitals have won seven of their last eight meetings with the Blackhawks.
  • Washington has posted a 10-3-0 record in their last 13 games against Chicago.
  • Alex Ovechkin has tallied 17 points (9 goals, 8 assists) in 15 career games against the Blackhawks and has earned 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists) in his last 10 games vs. Chicago.
  • Nicklas Backstrom has 12 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in 11 games against Chicago.
  • John Carlson has seven points (1 goal, 6 assist) in 11 games.
  • Jay Beagle has six goals in nine games against the Blackhawks which is the most goals he’s scored against a single franchise.
  • Andre Burakovsky is on a two-game point streak (2 goals, 1 assist). This season, Burakovsky’s 12.5 shooting percentage is 1.7 percent greater than his shooting percentage last season.

CAPITALS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

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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