Hagelin, Kuznetsov Skate With Capitals; Fucale Recalled For Precautionary Reasons

After missing practice on Thursday with a non COVID-19-related illness, left-wing Carl Hagelin participated in the Washington Capitals’ morning skate prior to their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Capital One Arena on Friday (7 PM ET, ESPN+).

Center Evgeny Kuznetsov was also a full participant after leaving practice early on Thursday with a lower-body injury. He joked after Friday’s morning skate that he left Thursday’s practice that “I just didn’t want to practice.”

Even with goaltenders Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek both available, the Capitals recalled Zach Fucale from the AHL’s Hershey Bears for precautionary reasons as COVID-19 is spreading through their locker room with the team set to visit the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday after Friday’s game. Capitals video coach Brett Leonhardt worked with the goalies since goaltending coach Scott Murray is in COVID-19 protocol.

Head coach Peter Laviolette said he is hopeful that everybody who participated in the Capitals’ morning skate on Friday will be available for the regular-season home finale against the Penguins with the exception of center Nicklas Backstrom, who is still recovering from a hip injury sustained last season.

Samsonov will start for the third straight game and eighth time in the Capitals’ last 10, hinting that Vanecek will start against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

On right-wing Tom Wilson being considered to represent Team Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, Laviolette said “He brings a different element… he also checks a lot of boxes for me when it comes to winning hockey games.”

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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