News and Notes from Tuesday’s Capitals Morning Skate in Anaheim: Update on Devante Smith-Pelly

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The Washington Capitals are in beautiful and sunny California to begin a three-city tour. This is by no means a vacation for Barry Trotz and company. Instead, it’s an opportunity for the Capitals to separate themselves from the pack in a tight Metropolitan Division race and try to put their west coast woes behind them. The Capitals didn’t get a single point in their three California games last season and they’ll look to reverse that trend beginning Tuesday night in Anaheim. Before they take on the Ducks, the Capitals held a morning skate at Honda Center. 

Devante Smith-Pelly was on the ice for Tuesday’s morning skate after missing Monday’s practice due to a lower-body maintenance issue. Smith-Pelly was skating in his usual spot on the right side of the fourth line

The Capitals lines at Tuesday’s morning skate looked like this:

Stephenson-Beagle-Smith Pelly
Starter’s net: Braden Holtby

Braden Holtby will get the start in between the pipes for the Capitals after ending a six-game winless drought on the big stage at the Stadium Series. In that game, Holtby stopped 27-of-29 Maple Leafs shots for a .931 save percentage.

“We played really well against Toronto. That game forced us to play a certain way… And I think that’s something that we can learn from. That game showed us that that’s the way to success,” said Holtby.

Holtby heads into this game with a 29-14-4 record with a  3.00 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. In his career against the Ducks, Holtby is 3-1-0 with a 2.92 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage.

John Gibson will get the start in goal for the Ducks. Gibson has posted a 7-1-1 since the All Star break with a 1.73 goals-against average (second-best) and a .947 save percentage (best) including winning five straight decisions.

The Capitals look to take their positive momentum from that Stadium Series win on Saturday night out to the west coast and pick up some important points.

“(We got to) recognize what we did well, the things that we did right that give us a chance for success and how we want to play. The mindset of going after a team, being aggressive in the right areas and try to replicate that again. No excuses with the travel, get yourself ready to play individually and we should have good team results if we have the same mindset,” said Matt Niskanen.


  • Even thought the Capitals have had their struggles in California, they’ve played well at Honda Center, winning six of their last seven games at Anaheim. (Tarik El-Bashir/NBC Sports Washington)
  • Since Feb. 1, the Capitals are 1 of 2 teams with a power play percentage over 30 at a conversion rate of 30.3% percent (Vegas Golden Knights: 30.9%). The Ducks penalty kill is the fourth best in the league overall and is tied for first in short-handed goals with nine. (Tarik El-Bashir/NBC Sports Washington)
  • The Ducks haven’t allowed a power play goal in seven straight games (21 for 21) and have allowed just one power play goal over the last 11 games (31 for 32, 96.9%. (Tarik El-Bashir/NBC Sports Washington)
  • The Capitals are 17-15-1-1 all-time against the Ducks and 8-7-1-0 at Honda Center.
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the season during Saturday’s Stadium Series game against the Maple Leafs, which was his NHL-leading 40th goal of the season. That marked the ninth time in Ovechkin’s career he has reached the 40-goal mark, becoming the sixth player in NHL history with at least nine 40-goal seasons (Wayne Gretzky: 12, Mario Lemieux: 10, Marcel Dionne: 10, Mke Gartner: 9, Mike Bossy: 9).
  • Ovechkin also became the first player to reach the 40-goal mark this season which was the seventh time in his career that he became the first player to reach the 40-goal mark in a season, setting a new record.
  • Jay Beagle has won 30 of his last 34 face-offs (88.24 percent), including 20 out of 22 in the defensive zone (90.1 percent) and five out of six shorthanded (83.3 percent).
  • The Capitals have posted a 9-2-0 record against the Ducks in games when Ovechkin earns a point.






By Michael Marzzacco

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1 Response to News and Notes from Tuesday’s Capitals Morning Skate in Anaheim: Update on Devante Smith-Pelly

  1. Anonymous says:

    I guess it depends on how much DSP wants to re sign this summer… I dont see anyone in Hershey who can beat him out today…. AC is hard to say… Would anyone let JC go and trade for EK+BR as the cap will go up?

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