Capitals Morning Skate News Roundup: Brooks Orpik Continues To Get Closer Towards Return, Nic Dowd Draws Out

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The Washington Capitals held a morning skate at MedStar Capitals Iceplex prior to their game against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. Action from Capital One Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 7 PM Eastern. Here are all of the news from the Capitals’ return to the ice following the NHL’s holiday break: 

Center Nic Dowd draws out of the lineup for forward Devante Smith-Pelly, who was scratched in the Capitals’ 4-0 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday in their last game before the holiday break.

Defenseman Brooks Orpik took contact for the first time and will get his first full practice with the team since late October tomorrow, according to Capitals head coach Todd Reirden. He will travel with the team for the rematch against the Senators on Saturday night. Orpik, 38, has not played since October 27 due to a knee injury. He underwent surgery on November 20.

Capitals Lines vs. Hurricanes

Shavings

-Since November 16, the Capitals have allowed a league-low 42 goals; during that span, goaltender Braden Holtby is 9-3-0, and his 2.31 goals against average ranks fourth among goalies with at least 10 games played during that time frame, while his .928 save percentage is tied for second

-In the month of December, the Capitals have a 51.21 shot attempt percentage at five-on-five (464 shot attempts for, 442 against), the 10th-best percentage in the NHL during that time frame

-The Capitals have have held a lead in their games in 289:31 out of a possible 600 minutes in December, the third most time in the NHL (Columbus: 332:04; San Jose: 298:07)

-Washington’s 442 allowed shot attempts at five-on-five in December is the seventh lowest total in the NHL

-The Capitals are 14-5-1 in their past 20 games vs. Carolina

-Captain Alex Ovechkin’s 39 goals and 88 points in 74 career games against the Hurricanes are each the second-most he’s tallied against a single team (47 goals, 91 points in 64 career games vs. Winnipeg Jets)

-Center Evgeny Kuznetsov enters Thursday’s game vs. Carolina three points shy of 300 in his career

Capitals Today

By Harrison Brown

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About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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