According to Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette, right-wing Daniel Sprong, defenseman Nick Jensen, goaltender Vitek Vanecek, defenseman Justin Schultz, and defenseman Dennis Cholowski were all activated off of the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and some of them will be available for Sunday’s game against the New Jersey Devils at Capital One Arena (3 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market).
CAPS TODAY: Alex Ovechkin concluded 2021 by climbing three of the NHL’s all-time lists as he scored his 275th power-play goal – the most by any player in NHL history – as well as adding his 119th game winner and 154th multi-goal performance. More info on https://t.co/HecIC0ECg1 pic.twitter.com/m6LciAfyZM
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) January 1, 2022
Captain Alex Ovechkin, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, and defenseman John Carlson all took maintenance days on Saturday but all are expected to suit up vs. the Devils. Laviolette told the media they were taking maintenance days because of the heavy minutes they have played lately.
Defenseman Martin Fehervary (COVID-19 protocol) and center Lars Eller, who did not play in the Capitals’ 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday due to a non COVID-19-related illness, did not participate in the team’s practice. Defenseman Matt Irwin was also absent on Saturday due to personal reasons.
On Ovechkin breaking the NHL power-play goals record in the team’s game on Friday, center Nicklas Backstrom said “It’s amazing. He’s great. First of all, no one likes to score goals more than him. When he does these milestones – almost every night now – it’s just amazing to be part of it.” When asked if he got a photo with the Great Eight after Friday’s game, the 34-year-old responded “I didn’t. I regretted it this morning.”
Capitals’ Lines vs. Devils
Capitals at practice today:
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) January 1, 2022
* Montreal Canadiens C Jake Evans and D Alexander Romanov were placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list
By Harrison Brown