Alex Ovechkin Likely To Play Tonight, Vitek Vanecek Will Start In Goal, Lars Eller Out: Notes From Capitals Morning Skate


The Washington Capitals face the New Jersey Devils tonight for the fifth time this season (4-0-0). The Capitals enter tonight’s game with a 20-7-4 record and in second place in the MassMutual East Division, with two games in hand on the division-leading New York Islanders. Here is the latest from morning skate at MedStar Capitals Iceplex

MORNING SKATE

Today’s morning skate was optional for the Capitals, but Alex Ovechkin did participate. Laviolette was asked following morning skate if Ovechkin will play tonight. He said “I think so”. He wanted to leave some wiggle room should things change this afternoon.

Laviolette said that center Lars Eller will not play tonight. He left in the first period against the Flyers on March 13 with a right leg injury. He has missed the last four games.

Laviolette would not comment on whether he would go with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen again, or if one of the recent call-ups would be inserted into the lineup.

Vitek Vanecek will start in goal tonight.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY

Brenden Dillon

Peter Laviolette

TRADE DEADLINE

The NHL trade deadline is less than three weeks away (April 12). One hurdle for deals has been quarantine requirements for players traded from one division to/from the North Division in Canada. Canada is working to reduce the mandatory quarantine period from 14 to seven days

EAST DIVISION GOALTENDERS

The following graph plots the even-strength stats for all the goaltenders in the East division with more than 300 minutes of ice time. (Click to enlarge)

CAPITALS VS. DEVILS

The following graph plots the advanced stats at even-strength (5v5) from the first three games against at the Devils. (Click to enlarge).


SHAVINGS

  • Jakub Vrana leads the Capitals with four goals and six points (4g, 2a) in four games against New Jersey this season, while Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson each have five points (1g, 4a each).
  • This season, the Capitals are 10-0-4 in one-goal games, one of two teams in the NHL without a regulation loss in a one goal game and have the second-highest point percentage (.714) in the NHL (Tampa Bay: 6-0-2, .750 point percentage).
  • Washington is 12-0-0 in games where they allow two or fewer goals, the only team in the MassMutual East Division without a loss in these conditions.
  • Washington has allowed one or fewer goals within the first two periods of the game in 14 of their 31 games, each of their last four games and in six of their last seven games. Additionally, the Capitals have allowed two five-on-five goals in their last four games.
  • Washington is expected to allow 1.93 five-on-five goals per game this season, the fourth-lowest rate in the NHL and their lowest rate in the last five seasons. Additionally, Washington is currently allowing the lowest five-on-five shots against per game (28.1) in their last four seasons.

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 Civil 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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2 Responses to Alex Ovechkin Likely To Play Tonight, Vitek Vanecek Will Start In Goal, Lars Eller Out: Notes From Capitals Morning Skate

  1. Pingback: Friday Caps Clips: Caps Best Devils; Caps vs. Devils Game Day

  2. Pingback: Friday Caps Clips: Caps Best Devils; Caps vs. Devils Game Day - Baltimore Sports Today

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