Justin Schultz Out, Zdeno Chara In, Ilya Samsonov Starts In Goal Tonight: Notes From Capitals’ Morning Skate

The Washington Capitals held their game-day morning skate Thursday morning at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. They will face the Islanders in a two-game set tonight and Saturday in New York before the two teams return to the District for their series season finale on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena.

The Capitals and Islanders will meet tonight for the sixth time this season (3-2-0). John Carlson leads the Capitals with seven points (4g, 3a) against New York this year, and Nicklas Backstrom leads the Capitals with five assists.

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Here’s the latest from morning skate:


Justin Schultz did not skate with the team this morning and did not travel with the team. He will be a scratch tonight against the Islanders. Trevor van Riemsdyk will get the start tonight in Schultz’s place.

Zdeno Chara said after practice he is feeling better and good enough to go tonight against the Islanders.

Michael Raffl will play in place of Daniel Sprong tonight.

Lines At Morning Skate

Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal tonight against the Islanders.


  • Mantha became the first player in franchise history to score a goal in each of his first four games with the Capitals and is currently riding a five-goal goal scoring streak.
  • In four games together, Anthony Mantha, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie have skated for 41:52 at five-on-five and recorded three goals. The trio has a 63.24 shot attempt percentage (43 shot attempts for, 25 against), a 65.91 shots for percentage (29 shots for, 15 against), a 65.52 scoring chance for percentage (19 scoring chances for, 10 against) and a 63.64 high-danger shot attempt percentage (7 high-danger shot attempts for, 4 against). In four games as linemates, the trio is expected to score 2.09 five-on-five goals together per game.



  • The Washington Capitals enter tomorrow’s game versus the New York Islanders with the top power play unit in the NHL (27.6%).
  • The Capitals scored two power play goals on Sunday against the Boston Bruins, the fifth time in their last seven games Washington has recorded multiple power play goals.
  • Since April 10, spanning five games, Washington has converted on 10 of their 23 opportunities (43.5%).
  • T.J. Oshie leads the Capitals with 10 power play goals this season – which is tied for second in the NHL – while Alex Ovechkin has nine.
  • Washington is the only team in the NHL to have two players record at least nine power play goals this season. Additionally, the Capitals have had nine different players score a power play goal, already equaling last season’s output.


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 Justin Schultz Out, Zdeno Chara In, Ilya Samsonov Starts In Goal Tonight: Notes From Capitals’ Morning Skate

  1. Marky says:

    Sorry Schultz is out. Hope it’s not long term.

    I am looking forward to see how Raffl plays tonight. He might be needed during playoff time if we get injuries so it’s good to get him in there. He was well liked by Philly because he is a swiss army knife of sorts and he plays responsible hockey which I know Lavy will like.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Injuries part of the game at this point of the season. Depth pays off at this point. Hopefully depth players can do their thing.

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