News and Notes from Monday’s Capitals Practice at Kettler: Another Maintenance Issue, Different Player

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The Washington Capitals played a complete 60-minute hockey game outside on Saturday night leading to a big win on the national spotlight over the Maple Leafs 5-3. After a day off on Sunday, the Capitals headed back inside for practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex before departing for a three-game California road trip. Here are the news and the notes from Monday morning. 

LINES
Here were the lines at Monday’s Practice:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilson
Vrana-Kuznetsov-Oshie
Connolly-Eller-Burakovsky
Stephenson-Beagle-Boyd
Defense
Kempny-Carlson
Orlov-Niskanen
Orpik-Djoos

NEWS
Devante Smith-Pelly wasn’t practicing on Monday morning due to a lower-body maintenance issue. Despite that, he will still join the team in their trip to California but it’s unclear whether or not he will suit up for Tuesday’s game at Anaheim.

If Smith-Pelly is a no go, the Capitals could use either Alex Chiasson or Travis Boyd at his spot. Boyd was taking rushes and centering the fourth line for a brief moment, trading places with Jay Beagle, but then moved to the right side. After practice, Barry Trotz told the media that Smith-Pelly is “probable” to play tomorrow night.

WHAT HAPPENED AT PRACTICE?
One thing the Caps worked on at practice was traffic in front of the net. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a good net front presence on Saturday leading to the Caps first goal of the night. Nicklas Backstrom also had a good look in front of the net for their third goal of the night. In the second period, John Carlson also was in the right place at the right time taking advantage of a bounce from the pads off of Chandler Stephenson’s shot. Here we have Alex Ovechkin redirecting a puck past Braden Holtby. Ovechkin is on the hunt for 600 career goals and needs just two more.

Lars Eller also fell flat on his face later on.

The team concluded practice with a tiny rink scrimmage with Team Red (top six) taking home the win.

T.J. Oshie was the hero with the game-winning goal. Team White had to skate laps.

CAPS TODAY

SHAVINGS

  • The Capitals win over the Maple Leafs Saturday night improved their record to 3-0-0 in outdoor games. the Capitals are one of two teams in the NHL with an undefeated record with at least three wins outside (New York Rangers, 4-0-0).
  • Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson each tied the outdoor game record for most points in a game (each with 1 goal, 2 assists).
  • All three of Backstrom’s points came in the first period, matching Martin Havlat (2009 Winter Classic with the Chicago Blackhawks) as the only players to record three points in a single period in an outdoor game.

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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