Washington Capitals’ Thursday Report: New York State Of Mind

The Capitals were back to work Thursday morning at MedStar Capitals Iceplex following their 7-2 victory over the Senators Tuesday night. All sights are now set on preparations for Friday night’s big showdown with the first place Islanders in New York.

The Capitals and Islanders are currently tied for first place in the metropolitan division with 79 points, however the Islanders have two games “in hand”. New York will play one of those games Thursday night when they host former Islander John Tavares and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Capitals will have off until Friday’s game against the Islanders.

The Capitals have 18 games remaining in the regular season. Following their practice this morning, The Capitals departed for New York for the weekend. They will finish up their Big Apple excursion with a tilt against the Rangers Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. The Capitals will have the day-off in between games (Saturday).

The Capitals changed this morning’s practice to “optional” last night. Those in attendance included Jakub Vrana, Andre Burakovsky, Carl Hagelin, Braden Holtby, Dmitrij Jaskin, Nic Dowd, Travis Boyd, Chandler Stephenson, Christian Djoos, and Pheonix Copley. Photos from the optional practice are here.

Todd Reirden post-practice presser:

Carl Hagelin interview:

Brett Connolly continues to pile-up even-strength (5-on-5) points (33), and currently sits third on the team, even though he’s had much less time on ice.


  • Nicklas Backstrom recorded a second assist against Ottawa. He now has 146 career multi-assist games. Since 2007-08, only Sidney Crosby (151) has more multi-assist games.
  • With 44 assists this season, Nicklas Backstrom is six assists shy of becoming the only player in the NHL to record at least 50 assists the last six straight seasons.
  • Nicklas Backstrom recorded an assist on the Capitals’ power play goal against Ottawa. Of his 634 career assists, 282 have come on the power play, tied with Brad Richards for the 50th most power play assists in NHL history.


  • John Carlson is entering tomorrow’s game against the New York Islanders after recording his 10th goal of the season against Ottawa on Tuesday. Carlson has now reached a double digit goal total in consecutive seasons for the second time in his career (2013-14: 10 goals; 2014-15: 12 goals), becoming the ninth defensemen in the NHL to reach the mark in the last two seasons.
  • The tally also marked his 87th career goal, passing Larry Murphy (86) for the sixth most all-time by a Capitals defenseman. Carlson is now 12 goals shy of passing Scott Stevens (98) for the fifth most goals in franchise history by a defenseman.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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