Jakub Vrana Returns To Lineup, Vitek Vanecek Will Start In Goal Tonight: Notes From Morning Skate At Nassau Coliseum

The Washington Capitals are back on Long Island for the second game of their two-game set with the New York Islanders. Game two is tonight with puck drop set for just after 7:00 PM. Here’s the latest from Tuesday’s game-day morning skate at Nassau Coliseum.


Jakub Vrana returned to the practice lines this morning. Laviolette said Vrana would play tonight and Richard Panik will be the healthy scratch.

Capitals lines at AM skate:

Vitek Vanecek will start in goal tonight against the Islanders.


  • The Washington Capitals face the New York Islanders tonight for the fifth time this season (3-1-0).
  • John Carlson leads the Capitals with seven points (4g, 3a) against New York this year, and Nicklas Backstrom leads the Capitals with six assists. 
  • In the three prior games this season, Washington has outscored New York 16-14. The Capitals have converted on 6 of their 10 power play opportunities (60%), their highest power play percentage against a single team this season.
  • Additionally, the Capitals are averaging 54.42 shot attempts at five-on-five per game, the second-highest rate the Islanders have allowed this season.


Jakub Vrana

Alex Ovechkin


The Capitals net penalties (penalties drawn minus penalties taken) for each season from 1974 to present. (Click to enlarge)

Before the Ovechkin era, (1974 – 2004), the Capitals had the best penalty differential (+710). During the Ovechkin era (since), the Capitals have the second worst penalty differential at -310.


  • With a win on Sunday against the New Jersey Devils, the Capitals improved to 12-5-2 on the road and own the third-highest road point percentage in the NHL (.684). That leads the MassMutual East Division, with New Jersey and Boston each tied for second (9-5-3, .618 points percentage).
  • Washington’s 3.42 road goals per game ranks second in the NHL (Florida: 3.56). With 65 goals in 19 games at home and on the road, the Capitals have the exact same scoring rate on the road as they do at home.
  • The Capitals are one of two teams (Philadelphia) in the NHL averaging at least 3.00 goals per game at home and on the road this season.
  • Over the last three seasons, Washington has averaged 3.40 goals per game on the road, tied with Tampa Bay for the second-most in the NHL (Toronto: 3.41), and has ranked in the top-five in goals per road game in each of the last three seasons. Washington’s road record of 59-30-7 and .651 point percentage since 2018-19 ranks second in the NHL (Tampa Bay: 62-26-8, .688).

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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3 Responses to Jakub Vrana Returns To Lineup, Vitek Vanecek Will Start In Goal Tonight: Notes From Morning Skate At Nassau Coliseum

  1. Marky says:

    I will be watching JV close tonight to see any slight change for the better in his game. Hopefully there is no drama.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      It’s gonna go one of two ways. He either takes the constructive criticism well and plays all out like he did after the last benching, or the issue and drama builds.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Vrana’s had similar issues before (Trotz, Czech National team, Hershey). At some point we have to figure he isn’t gonna change, and either deal with it or deal him.

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