The Washington Capitals conclude the 2018 preseason with a short two-game homestand, which begins on Friday night when the team hosts the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes beat the Capitals 5-1 at PNC Arena last Friday night in Raleigh in the first preseason game between the two teams. Puck drop from Capital One Arena is at 7 PM on NBC Sports Washington.
The Capitals will dress most of their projected opening night roster. The team’s top two forward lines will suit up as well as the entirety of the team’s defensive pairs with the exception of Michal Kempny, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury after getting hit by St. Louis Blues’ defenseman Robert Bortuzzo in the Capitals’ 4-0 win at Enterprise Center on Tuesday night. Bortuzzo got suspended three games for the hit by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Thursday.
Goaltender Braden Holtby will get the full game for the first time all preseason against Carolina. Pheonix Copley, who made 42 saves and was excellent in the Capitals’ win over the Blues, will serve as his backup.
Capitals PP units this morning:
PP1: Ovechkin, Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Oshie, Carlson.
PP2: Vrana, Eller, Burakovsky, Niskanen, Orlov.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) September 28, 2018
After lots of roster cuts yesterday, the Capitals roster is down to 30. Among the most notable remaining who did not dress in the Stanley Cup Final include center Jayson Megna, forward Maximilian Kammerer, defenseman Aaron Ness, and defenseman Jonas Seigenthaler, who will take Kempny’s spot on the top defensive pairing with John Carlson tonight against the Hurricanes. Seigenthaler has had an excellent training camp and could be an extra defenseman on the NHL roster when the Capitals open the season against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.
Forward Devante Smith-Pelly will make his preseason debut after missing the first five preseason games for undisclosed reasons. Smith-Pelly and the team have refused to discuss why the forward has not gotten into a preseason game earlier but Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post reported earlier this week that his absence had to do with conditioning. Smith-Pelly was also called out for conditioning issues when he was a member of the Montreal Canadiens in 2014-15.
Capitals’ Lineup vs. Hurricanes
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 28, 2018
Hurricanes Roster at Capitals
7 DI GIUSEPPE, Philipp
8 MAENALNEN, Saku
13 FOEGLE, Warren
20 AHO, Sebastian
36 BROWN, Patrick
37 SVECHNIKOV, Andrei
42 McKEGG, Greg
59 KUOKKANEN, Janne
71 WALLMARK, Lucas
73 ZYKOV, Valentin
86 TERAVAINEN, Teuvo
88 NECAS, Martin
19 HAMILTON, Dougie
22 PESCE, Brett
27 FAULK, Justin
44 de HAAN, Calvin
57 van RIEMSDYK, Trevor
74 SLAVIN, Jaccob
33 DARLING, Scott
34 MRAZEK, Petr
By Harrison Brown