The Band Is Back Together: News From Capitals Saturday Practice Report


After a day off for the team on Friday, the Capitals returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Saturday for one more practice before departing for Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon. The Capitals and Penguins begin a two-game set on Sunday with puck drop scheduled for just after 3:00 pm. Here’s the latest from MedStar on Saturday.

STORYLINES

The primary storylines for Saturday morning continue to be the status of Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ilya Samsonov and Justin Schultz, and if they will be ready to play against the Penguins on Sunday. Both Schultz and coach Peter Laviolette confirmed after practice that the Capitals should have all players back in the lineup for tomorrow’s game.

The Capitals made one player move Saturday morning, re-assigning Pheonix Copley from the Hershey Bears to the Capitals taxi squad.

PRACTICE

Lines
Lines remained the same as Thursday.

Laviolette was asked about the status of Ilya Samsonov, and if he was ready to return, or if he might head to Hershey for a game. He said there will be an announcement later today.

Power Play Units

PP1: Ovechkin, Backstrom, Carlson, Oshie and Vrana
PP2: Kuznetsov, Wilson, Eller, Orlov and Schultz

Shootout Drill
The Capitals spent time this morning working on their shootouts. Laviolette said after practice that he typically includes shootout drills in practice on a regular basis.

MEDIA SESSIONS

Evgeny Kuznetsov

Brenden Dillon

Justin Schultz

Peter Laviolette

SHAVINGS

  • Capitals defenseman Justin Schultz is expected to return to the Capitals lineup tomorrow against the Pittsburgh Penguins after missing four games due to injury and for the first time since Jan. 28 against the New York Islanders.
  • Prior to his injury, Schultz averaged 18:45 of ice time and recorded six points (2g, 4a) in eight games. In addition, he recorded three straight multi-point games (2g, 4a) from Jan. 24-28 for the first time in his career.
  • Schultz is currently tied with Evgeny Kuznetsov for fifth on the Capitals in points per game this season (0.75). Schultz’s 80.0 on-ice goals for percentage at even strength leads the Caps (12 on ice goals for, 3 against), and his 12 on-ice goals for are tied for third on the team.
  • Additionally, Schultz’s 53.7 shot attempt percentage at five-on-five (116 shot attempts for, 100 against) ranks first on the Capitals among players with at least eight games played.

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 passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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