News and Notes from Friday’s Capitals Optional Skate at Kettler: The Holtbeast Looks for Redemption

Everything clicked on Thursday night for the Washington Capitals in their 7-3 win over the New York Islanders in Brooklyn. On Friday night, the two teams will square off once again only this time in DC. The Capitals held an optional skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Friday morning where a select few came out to further work on their game. Here are the news and notes from Friday’s morning skate. 

These players were marked present at the optional skate:

Jakub Vrana, Andre Burakovsky, Alex Chiasson, Chandler Stephenson, Travis Boyd

Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer

Braden Holtby will get the start in goal tonight after Barry Trotz gave him four games worth of rest. His last appearance came in Anaheim back on March 6 after allowing three goals on nine shots. Holtby comes into tonight’s game having dropped seven of his last eight games. His last win came on March 3rd over the Maple Leafs in the Stadium Series. In that game he stopped 27-of-29 shots.

As far as the rest of the lineup is concerned there’s a chance that Christian Djoos could play tonight. Trotz said he’d like to get him back in the lineup. Djoos, like Holtby, last played in the Anaheim game and has been scratched from the last four games.

As for the forwards, Chandler Stephenson was taking the extras skate so there is a possibility that he could be out of the lineup tonight. We won’t know what the lineup will look like until Trotz talks to the media at 5 p.m.




  • Tonight’s game between the Capitals and Islanders is the fourth and final meeting this season. The Capitals are 106-88-13-6 all-time against the Islanders and 12-5-3 over the last 20 meetings.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded three assists against the New York Islanders on March 15, increasing his career point total to 251. Kuznetsov became the 32nd player in franchise history to reach the 250 point mark and his 177 Capitals assists are tied with Rod Langway for 26th in franchise history.
  • T.J. Oshie recorded two goals last night against the New York Islanders, snapping a 19-game goalless drought.
  • Dmitry Orlov recorded a goal and two assists on Thursday night against the Islanders. That marked Orlov’s ninth goal of the season, a new single-season high.
  • Tom Wilson recored an assist against the NYI last night marking his 31st point (11 goals, 20 assists) of the season and his 100th point of his career.
  • Nicklas Backstrom recorded a goal and two assists against the New York Islanders on March 15. That marked Backstrom’s ninth multi-assist game of the season, which ranks second on the team.
  • The Capitals are 26-12-5 against the Eastern Conference this year, and their 57 points are the third most against the Eastern Conference this season (Boston: 64 points, Tampa Bay: 60 points).
  • The Capitals will hold a pregame ceremony tonight against the New York Islanders to honor captain Alex Ovechkin for recording his 600th NHL goal. During the ceremony, Ovechkin will receive a special gift from the organization. Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and president Dick Patrick will join Ovechkin’s wife Nastya Ovechkina on the ice to honor Ovechkin.


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By Michael Marzzacco

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