News and Notes from Tuesday’s Capitals Optional Morning Skate at Kettler: Good News for Brooks Orpik and Evgeny Kuznetsov


Several Washington Capitals players hit the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Tuesday morning for an optional skate prior to their to game that night. The Capitals will play host to the Dallas Stars tonight at Capital One Arena for T.J. Oshie bobblehead night. Fans in attendance will also be treated to seeing the team wear their navy blue Stadium Series uniforms. If you’re going to the game tonight or simply watching it from home, we’ve got you covered on what went on today at morning skateThese are the jerseys the #Caps are wearing tonight for #CapsStars! You can get yours at @ShopKettlerCaps at @KettlerIceplex or @TeamShopAtCOA at @CapitalOneArena!

Travis Boyd, Chandler Stephenson, Andre Burakovsky, Tom Wilson, Devante Smith-Pelly, Jakub Vrana, Lars Eller, Brett Connolly, Alex Chiasson

Brooks Orpik, Michal Kempny, Jakub Jerabek, Dmitry Orlov, Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubuaer

Brooks Orpik, who was scratched before Sunday’s game against the Flyers with a lower body injury, was fully practicing with his teammates at the optional skate. On Monday Trotz said he would practice Tuesday but that he’d be doubtful for tonight’s game.

Orpik took part in the 2-on-1 drills against the forwards and participated in the defensemen drills. He looked good out there and Trotz said that Orpik now is a game time decision.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, who left Friday’s game against the Islanders with an upper body injury, didn’t practice with his teammates but according to Trotz, he skated on his own and Trotz anticipates that will join the team for their road trip up to Detroit. As for who starts in goal tonight, Trotz confirmed that it’ll be Braden Holtby and that he will keep the goaltending rotation going through the rest of this week which could mean that Philipp Grubauer will start in Detroit on Thursday.



The team worked on 2-on-1’s. Here’s Travis Boyd and Chandler Stephenson for all our Hershey Bears readers out there.

The defensemen took a break from their usual slapshot sequences and started passing the puck to each other from their knees. It looked like a fun game! And some players were diving for that puck.

While the defensemen worked on their slapshots, Devante Smith-Pelly jumped in to join them.


  • The Capitals are 31-48-16-1 all-time against the Stars and 16-22-8-1 vs. Dallas at Capital One Arena.
  • The Capitals are 12-4-2 in their last 18 games on home ice and have won five straight in DC.
  • The Caps 25 wins at home are tied for the fourth-most in the NHL.
  • Matt Niskanen and Alex Chiasson were each drafted by the Dallas Stars (Niskanen: First round, 28th overall in 2005; Chiasson: Second round, 38th overall in 2009).
  • Alex Ovechkin has registered 11 points (8 goals, 3 assists) in 15 career games against Dallas and has earned a point in four of his last six games against the Stars (4 goals, 2 assists).
  • Nicklas Backstrom has earned 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists) in 13 career games against the Stars, including 10 points in his last seven games (3 goals, 7 assists).
  • T.J. Oshie has recorded 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 27 career games against the Stars including seven points in his last seven games (3 goals, 4 assists).
  • Oshie has three goals in his last three games.


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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