News and Notes from Thursday’s Morning Skate in LA: A “Little Reset” for Braden Holtby

Photo: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals continue their three-game California road trip Thursday night in Hollywood as Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, and Tom Wilson look to star in an epic contest against the Los Angeles Kings. Prior to the game, the Caps held a morning skate at Staples Center, a place that they haven’t won a game at since December 14, 2005. To put things in perspective, that win came during Ovechkin’s rookie year. Here are the news and notes to get you ready for tonight’s game. 

THE MORNING LINES
The lines at morning skate looked like this:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilson
Vrana-Kuznetsov-Oshie
Connolly-Eller-Burakovsky
DSP-Beagle-Chiasson
Defense
Kempny-Carlson
Orlov-Niskanen
Orpik-Jerabek
Starter’s net: Philipp Grubauer

NEWS
Philipp Grubauer will get the start tonight. In his career against the Kings, Grubauer is 2-1-0 with a .960 save percentage and a 1.34 goals-against average including a shutout. Grubauer comes into tonight’s game having won four starts in a row. This will be his second straight appearance on the California trip after he came on in relief in the second period in Tuesday night’s game at Anaheim after Braden Holtby allowed three unanswered goals. Grubauer stopped all eight shots he faced.

There’s no denying that Holtby has struggled lately. There was a good thread on Twitter by former Capitals goaltender Brent Johnson where he gives his thoughts on the matter, you can view that here. Having dropped seven of his last eight starts, Barry Trotz said he is resting Holtby tonight to give him a bit of a reset and will go one game at a time as to who starts in net.

There were some changes to the lines. On the forwards, Alex Chiasson was in for Chandler Stephenson. For the blueline, Jakub Jerabek was in for Christian Djoos on the third defensive pair with Brooks Orpik.

GAME NOTES

CAPS TODAY

SHAVINGS

  • Nicklas Backstrom is scheduled to play in his 800th NHL/Capitals game tonight against the Los Angeles Kings, becoming the seventh player in franchise history to reach the 800 game mark.
  • Alex Ovechkin is two goals shy of 600 career goals. If he scores two goals within his next 12 games, he would become the fourth player in NHL history to record 600 career goals in under 1,000 games (Wayne Gretzky: 718 games, Mario Lemieux: 719 games, Brett Hull: 900 games. (Elias Sports Bureau)
  • Jay Beagle has won 37 of his last 41 face-offs (90.24 percent), including 22 out of 24 in the defensive zone (91.67 percent) and five out of six shorthanded (83.3 percent).
  • Since Jan. 31, the Capitals have the most successful power play in the NHL (12 goals on 39 opportunities, 30.8 percent).  During that time frame, nine different Capitals have recorded a power play point.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov has 16 multi-point games this season, second on the Capitals (Alex Ovechkin: 18), and has 31 career multi-assist game and nine this season.
  • This season, the Capitals are 18-11-4 against teams currently in a playoff position, the seventh-best points percentage (.606) and a 99-point pace over the course of an 82-game season.
  • The Caps have recorded 60 goals in the first period, tied for the 10th-most in the NHL through games played March 6.
  • The Capitals have scored at least one goal in the first period in four of their last five games. Additionally, Washington is 23-3-3 in games where they score the game’s first goal.

CAPS RED LINE

CAPITALS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

By Michael Marzzacco

LA #CapsKings #ALLCAPS

A post shared by Washington Capitals (@capitals) on

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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4 Responses to News and Notes from Thursday’s Morning Skate in LA: A “Little Reset” for Braden Holtby

  1. Can we “rest” Orpik?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jason I couldn’t agree more, but Barry Trotz seems to think he’s the second coming of Brad Park so don’t count on it…

    End,

    Clifford
    Sta. Monica

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    Orpik is the highest paid assistant coach in pro sports

    Like

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