News and Notes from Thursday’s Capitals Practice at Capital One Arena: Team Photo Day, Playoff Clinch Scenarios, Roster Moves, Maintenance Day for One Defenseman, and Ted Talks

DZd1sTTW4AAwOBP.jpg-largePhoto: @Capitals

The clock was ticking and Braden Holtby was pulled for an extra attacker as the Washington Capitals were trailing the New York Rangers 2-1 on Wednesday night. With a minute and five seconds left Nicklas Backstrom quickly fed the puck from behind the net to Lars Eller, who buried it in to tie the game and get the crowd on their feet. The game shifted to overtime and 38 second in, Evgeny Kuznetsov won it. Victory from the jaws of defeat. Just nearly 13 hours later from that incredible comeback win, the Capitals returned to Capital One Arena to take a team photo and hold a closed practice. Despite Thursday’s practice not being open to the general public, we’ve got you covered with all that happened. 

The Capitals will clinch a playoff berth tonight if any of the four scenarios happen: The Panthers losing to the Senators in any fashion or if Florida defeats Ottawa in a shootout, the Devils lose to the Penguins in any fashion, or the Blue Jackets lose to the Flames in any fashion.

Pheonix Copley was sent back to Hershey as Philipp Grubauer is expected to be healthy for Friday night’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Copley has had two stints in the Caps lineup over the last two weeks, first with Holtby having a tweak in his lower-body and then this week with Grubauer having a minor tweak. Speaking of Hershey, we may be seeing Travis Boyd again soon. Boyd’s family is at a hotel in Washington and Trotz said that Boyd will play with Hershey this weekend before coming back up to the big club.

After the Caps took their team photo, they went straight to work. Brooks Orpik didn’t practice with the team, taking a maintenance day. Despite the day off from practice, Orpik is not expected to miss any playing timeThere were no changes to the top six forwards but a few changes to the bottom-six. Jakub Vrana and Devante Smith-Pelly were paired on the third line with Lars Eller while Chandler Stephenson and Brett Connolly were paired with Jay Beagle on the fourth line.

Capitals owner and founder and chairman of Monumental Sports  and Entertainment, Ted Leonsis also spoke to reporters. He said something interesting about Alex Ovechkin’s contract 13-year 124 million dollar contract that was signed a decade ago, saying he regrets the deal not being 15-years and that former NBA commissioner David Stern has called him and told him he would regret it. Ovechkin still has three more years left on his deal before Leonsis has to worry about an extension. Leonsis hopes the Capitals can win a championship this year or within his contract time.

Leonsis has also noted how happy he is with the way both goalies have played lately. Video comes from Tarik El-Bashir of NBC Sports Washington:

Practice wrapped up with the Capitals singing Happy Birthday to Tom Wilson, who turned 24 today, before shoving a birthday cake in his face.



  • Lars Eller’s game-tying goal was his 18th goal of the season, a season-high.
  • Eller’s goal came with 1:05 left in regulation which marked the third time this season the Capitals have tied a game with less than two minutes remaining (T.J. Oshie at 18:59 on Oct. 20 at Detroit, and Nicklas Backstrom at 19:43 on Feb. 11 vs. Detroit).
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov also set a season-high in goals with his 25th of the season as he scored the game-winning goal in overtime. He also recorded his 77th point which tied his single-season high that was set in the 2015-16 season.





By Michael Marzzacco

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2 Responses to News and Notes from Thursday’s Capitals Practice at Capital One Arena: Team Photo Day, Playoff Clinch Scenarios, Roster Moves, Maintenance Day for One Defenseman, and Ted Talks

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