Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals play their third and final preseason home game Saturday night as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes. The Capitals defeated the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues and are looking to go 3-for-3 in home games before taking the final stretch of the preseason on the road. Action from Capital One Arena starts at 7 PM ET on NBC Sports Washington.
Ilya Samsonov will get the entire game in goal. “His physical attributes are obvious,” says Reirden, “but just in the net he has a calming influence to him. I think that’s something that you can’t really teach goaltenders, and it’s not something they can fake. He looks extremely comfortable and he is going to be an NHL goalie. It’s just [a matter of] when is he going to be that goalie, and what’s the right timing for it?
Expected preseason lines:
Samsonov will get the start and play the full game.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) September 21, 2019
Pheonix Copley will be the backup netminder in tonight’s tilt with the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes opened the preseason with back-to-back shutouts against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Another look at lineup pic.twitter.com/ZCmtwd4xeL
— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) September 21, 2019
According to the Hurricanes, the Canes will roll with the likely split of James Reimer and Anton Forsberg in net. The two combined for a 15-save shutout in Tampa on Tuesday, with Reimer stopping eight shots and Forsberg stopping seven.
“I like all of them,” Brind’Amour said of the goaltenders in camp, adding that the picture in net is no clearer than it was a week ago.
- Center Lars Eller did participate in Saturday’s morning skate, but will not be playing tonight as he remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
- Head coach Todd Reirden said defenseman Michal Kempny (hamstring) also participated in the morning skate and wore a light blue non-contact jersey.
- Washington Capitals defenseman Alexandar Alexeyev skated for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury (possibly a concussion) in the 2019 NHL Prospects Tournament on September 8 with equipment on but did not do any drills on Saturday.
Reirden discussing Saturday’s morning skate and more:
Head Coach Todd Reirden addresses the media after morning skate #CapsCanes pic.twitter.com/8GaUF6yWA8
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 21, 2019
According to Mike Vogel, the group playing against Carolina took part in a morning skate on Saturday, and afterwards, the rest of the healthy Caps took the ice for a practice/scrimmage.
“We’ll have to see how tonight’s game goes,” says Caps coach Todd Reirden, “but we are planning on making some adjustments to the lineup [Sunday] again, but the number and who it is is going to be based on tonight’s game and even some of [Saturday] afternoon’s practice, a little bit of an intrasquad scrimmage that we’re doing. It’s a controlled scrimmage today – no referees. But I wanted to continue to evaluate guys that way.”
By Della Young
Excellent Game Primer, Della Y!
Probably this is the only game in which Mike Sgarbossa gets to don a Washington Capitals’ sweater. But Mike has earned it. He’s done some marvelous things as a senior Center on the Hershey Bears AHL team and they are most fortunate to have him on the roster.
Mike has a bunch of games of NHL experience and has been a “numbers casualty” for most of his career. But I’ve watched Sg play in a number of Bears’ games and the guy is an NHL-calibre center — just keeps getting overlooked for players who have just a whisker more offensive talent, a smidge bigger, a few years younger.
Well Done Mike Sg! You have earned your day in the Capitals’ sun. Reminds me of the last game of the 2003-04 disastrous Caps’ season when the hulking Mel Angelstad finally got to play a single game for the Caps. He even enjoyed a hight-sticking penalty. Any Nova Caps Fans staff remember that one? Doubly depressing — The Caps stunk, they had just dumped all their veterans, a strike was upcoming and guaranteed — And we lost to Crosby and the Penguins!
I’ve always wondered about Sgarbs. He certainly should be considered for a call-up.