News and Notes from Thursday’s Capitals Morning Skate at Little Caesars Arena: Is Evgeny Kuznetsov “Hot-N-Ready” for Game Action?

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 12.22.23 PMPhoto: @Capitals

After a thrilling win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night to put a big monkey off their back the Washington Capitals headed to Detroit. On Thursday night, the team will begin a three game road trip in the newest arena in the NHL. It’ll be their second time playing there this season, but the first time back in October was certainly memorable. The team held a morning skate at Little Caesars Arena prior to the matchup. 

The lines at Thursday’s morning skate looked like this:

Starter’s Net: Philipp Grubauer

Evgeny Kuznetsov was the first player out of the tunnel for the morning skate. He has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury but has skated on his own on Monday and Tuesday and participated in the Capitals optional practice on Wednesday. This was the second day in a row he fully participated with his teammates. Also before the skate, two fellow Swedes had a chat with each other: Nicklas Backstrom and Henrik Zetterberg.

Even though Kuznetsov participated in the skate he won’t play tonight. He’ll miss his third straight game.

Braden Holtby, who missed Wednesday’s practice for a maintenance day, was also on the ice. Philipp Grubuaer is expected to get the start tonight. In addition to those two goalies there was actually a third goaltender at morning skate, video coach Brett Leonhardt. It seemed like Holtby was still dealing with something from Tuesday night’s third period collision with Remi Ellie. Holtby still fully participated.




  • The Capitals face the Red Wings for the third and final time this season. The Capitals won the most recent matchup at Little Caesars Arena 4-3 in overtime on Oct. 20 but lost in a shootout in the most recent matchup against the Red Wings 5-4 on Feb. 11 in DC.
  • Should Carlson finish the season with the most points among defensemen, he would become the third Capitals defensemen to lead the NHL in points since the year 2000 (Sergei Gonchar: 2001-02 59 points, Mike Green: 2008-09, 2009-10 73 and 76 points respectively).
  • The Red Wings will miss the playoffs for the second straight season. That’s the most from the franchise since they missed five straight from 1978-79 to 1982-83. Prior to last season, the Red Wings made the playoffs for 25 straight years.
  • Tom Wilson recorded nine hits against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, the most hits by a Capital in a single game this season and tied for the 12th most by any player in the NHL.
  • Alex Ovechkin has 21 ponts (12 goals, 9 assists) in 22 games against the Detroit Red Wings in his career.
  • Nicklas Backstrom has 18 points (4 goals, 14 assists) in 19 games against Detroit.


By Michael Marzzacco

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3 Responses to News and Notes from Thursday’s Capitals Morning Skate at Little Caesars Arena: Is Evgeny Kuznetsov “Hot-N-Ready” for Game Action?

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