The Capitals held one more practice Wednesday morning at MedStar Capitals Iceplex prior to departing for New York City. They will face the Rangers Thursday night before returning home for a two-game set with the first-place Flyers that begins on Sunday with the Capitals traditional pre-Super Bowl game. Puck drop Thursday night in the Big Apple is set for 7:07 p.m.
The Capitals primary storylines for Wednesday morning were once again the status of Ilya Samsonov (COVID-19 list), Evgeny Kuznetsov (COVID-19 list), Lars Eller (upper body injury), Justin Schultz (upper body injury), Brian Pinho (undisclosed injury) and Conor Sheary, who suffered a lower body injury in last nights game against the Bruins. All players were once again non-participants in today’s practice.
Capitals practice today: No Lars Eller (upper body), Justin Schultz (upper body), Conor Sheary (lower body), Evgeny Kuznetsov (covid-19 list), Ilya Samsonov (covid-19 list).
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) February 3, 2021
Lines at Wednesday’s practice saw no changes from yesterday’s practice:
Capitals at practice today:
No: Eller, Schultz, Sheary, Kuznetsov, Samsonov
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) February 3, 2021
Eller (lower body), Pinho (unspecified) skated in light blue no-contact jerseys along with Maillet and Fucale from taxi squad.
Power Play Units:
First Unit: Carlson, Ovechkin, Backstrom, Vrana, Oshie.
Second Unit: Chara, Sprong, Sbargossa, Panik, Wilson.
STAT OF THE DAY
Shots! We discussed this potential hazard last week, but the song remains the same. The Capitals opponents continue to outshoot them by a significant margin. The Capitals have been outshot in every game this season with exception of the Islanders game on January 26 and the Penguins game on January 17 (tied). The Bruins outshot the Caps for a combined 115 to 71 in their recent two-game set. (CA – shots against, CF – shots for)
Vitek Vanecek has faced the second most shots in the league but has three less starts than the leader Koskinen.
- Forwards Carl Hagelin, Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway have played together for 98:49 minutes of five-on-five this season, the most of any Capitals forward combo. The trio has outscored opponents 5-3 at five-on-five (62.50 goals for percentage), recorded 39 scoring chances and allowed 27 (59.09 scoring chance for percentage) while matched up against the opposition’s top lines. In addition, they have generated 14 high-danger shot attempts while allowing 10 (58.33 high-danger attempts for percentage). The line has been on the ice for a Capitals goal at five-on-five in four of the last five games.
- Since joining the Capitals in 2018, Dowd’s 61.8 goals for percentage (55 goals for, 34 against) at even strength over the last three seasons is tied for the third-highest percentage among NHL forwards with at least 100 games. Hathaway’s 60.4 goals for percentage (58 for, 38 against) during that same span ranks 13th among forwards, while Hagelin’s 55.9 goals for percentage (76 for, 60 against) is tied for 48th.
By Jon Sorensen