Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson Game-Time Decisions, Vitek Vanecek Will Start In Goal, T.J. Oshie Will Not Play Tonight (Personal Reasons): News From Capitals Morning Skate

The Washington Capitals face the New York Rangers for the seventh time this season tonight at Madison Square Garden. The two teams will wrap-up their eight-game season series on Wednesday night, which will also be the Capitals final road game of the regular season. Here’s the latest news and notes from the Capitals morning skate at MSG.

[UPDATE – 5:45 PM] – Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov will not dress tonight due to disciplinary reasons. More here.


Alex Ovechkin (lower body injury) and John Carlson (lower body injury) both participated in the team’s morning skate. Laviolette indicated that they both looked good, but both will be game-time decisions.

“It was great that they were both out there. They’re participating in full, they looked good and they will be game-time decisions tonight,” said Laviolette following morning skate.

T.J. Oshie did not skate with the team and will not play tonight (personal reasons). Laviolette said that going with 11 forwards and seven defensemen tonight is a possibility.

Vitek Vanecek will start in goal tonight.

When asked about playoff plans at the goaltender position, Laviolette said it is important going into the playoffs that they “don’t cut one guy off”.

The Rangers will be without quite a few starters tonight. They will be eliminated from the playoffs with a loss to the Capitals or a Bruins win.



  • Alex Ovechkin leads the Capitals with four goals in six games against the Rangers this season and his four points are tied with T.J. Oshie (2g, 2a) and Nicklas Backstrom (0g, 4a) for the most against New York.
  • Backstrom leads the Capitals with 51 points (14g, 37a) in 51 games this season. Backstrom is tied for 17th in the NHL in scoring and is the second-oldest player to rank in the top-20 (Backstrom: 33 years and 161 days; Sidney Crosby: 33 years and 269 days).
  • Backstrom recorded three assists against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, marking his 44th career game with at least three assists. Backstrom’s 37 assists are tied for ninth in the NHL.
  • Since 2007-08, Backstrom’s rookie season, he leads the NHL in assists with 721. Should Backstrom record five points over the Capitals’ final five games, it would mark the sixth season in his career that he has posted a points per game rate of 1.00 or higher and the first since 2016-17 (1.05 points per game).

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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