News and Notes from Saturday’s Capitals Morning Skate in Montreal: Shane Gersich Joins the Team and Evgeny Kuznetsov Progress Update

Screen Shot 2018-03-24 at 11.24.34 AMPhoto: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals continue their three-game, three-city, original six road trip on Saturday night in Montreal where they’ll take on the Canadiens. A lot happened at the morning skate Saturday morning at the Bell Centre. Shane Gersich joined the team and both Evgeny Kuznetsov and Braden Holtby continued to make progress. Here are the news and notes from Saturday. 

EVGENY KUZNETSOV NEWS
Evgeny Kuznetsov came out to the ice sporting the red top six forward practice jersey. Kuznetsov has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury. Kuznetsov is back tonight. He was taking rushes on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson.

Here’s some more Kuznetsov on a 2-on-1 drill. He looks ready for game action.

And finally here is Kunzetsov’s takeaway from being injured for the first time in his career. Welcome back, Kuzy.

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

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

NEWS
Braden Holtby was on the ice for the morning skate. He has nursed a lower-body injury for the last couple days but not to the point where he’s missed practice time. Philipp Grubuaer was in the starter’s net while Holtby took shots in the other net. Pheonix Copley split time with Holtby in that net.

Grubauer is coming off a 1-0 shutout (his third shutout of the season) in Detroit where he stopped all 39 shots he faced. Grubauer is searching for his first career win against the Canadiens. He is 0-2-0 with a .927 save percentage and a 1.91 goals-against average lifetime against the Habs.

Capitals prospect Shane Gersich joined his teammates in Montreal and practiced with them at the morning skate just one day after signing with the Capitals. Gersich was signed to a two-year entry level contract.

GAME NOTES

CAPS TODAY

SHAVINGS

  • The Capitals are 70-72-17-5 all-time against the Canadiens.
  • Philipp Grubauer’s .945 save percentage at even strength during his last 27 appearances ranks first among goaltenders with at least 20 appearances since Oct. 29.
  • In 44 games against the Canadiens, Alex Ovechkin has 49 points (27 goals, 22 assists).
  • Ovechkin is one of only five active players with at least 20 goals against Montreal (Jason Spezza: 32, Eric Staal: 21, Patrice Bergeron: 20, Thomas Vanek: 20).
  • Ovechkin’s 0.61 goals per game against the Canadiens is the highest per game total among active players with at least 20 career games and tied for the 11th highest all-time, despite having an average shot distance of 34.8 feet, the sixth-longest average shot distance among active forwards.
  • Shane Gersich recorded 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) in 40 games with the University of North Dakota in his junior season, making him the second-highest goal scorer at North Dakota.
  • Since joining the Capitals in the 2016-17 season, Brett Connolly is one of five Capitals to reach the 15-goal mark in two straight seasons (Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov).
  • T.J. Oshie has four goals in his last five games.

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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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One Response to News and Notes from Saturday’s Capitals Morning Skate in Montreal: Shane Gersich Joins the Team and Evgeny Kuznetsov Progress Update

  1. Pingback: Capitals Re-Assign Pheonix Copley to the Hershey Bears | NoVa Caps

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