T.J. Oshie (injured reserve) did not participate in morning skate. Defenseman Nick Jensen participated in morning skate, but wore a blue non-contact jersey and is likely out for tonight’s tilt with the Sharks. Lines at morning skate:
Capitals lines at morning skate ahead of San Jose:
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) January 26, 2022
Ilya Samsonov was the first goalie off the ice and is expected to get the start tonight.
Samsonov’s last game was Jan. 16 against Vancouver.
James Reimer looked to be the Sharks starting goalie at their morning skate today in Washington.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) January 26, 2022
The Capitals face the San Jose Sharks tonight for the second and final time this season. The Capitals won the first matchup, 4-0, at SAP Center on Nov. 20, 2021 behind a 22-save performance from Ilya Samsonov. The Capitals have earned points in seven-straight games against the Sharks (6-0-1), dating back to Dec. 4, 2017, outscoring San Jose 27-15 during the stretch.
Vitek Vanecek stopped 28 of the 29 shots (.966 save percentage) last night against the Vegas Golden Knights in his fourth consecutive start. Over his last five games, Vanecek has stopped 130 of 140 shots (.929 save percentage) and has recorded a 2.00 goals-against average, a stretch that includes a shutout on Jan. 15 against the New York Islanders.
Vanecek is 9-6-5 on the season with a shutout, a 2.47 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. In 22 games this season, Vanecek has a 1.85 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage at five-on-five. Among goaltenders with at least 10 games played, Vanecek has the lowest rebounds allowed per 60 minutes of play at five-on-five (1.85). Should Vanecek earn another start tomorrow against the San Jose Sharks, it will mark the first time this season a Capitals goaltender has started five consecutive games.
🦈 prep pic.twitter.com/Cwhal5cFMm
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 26, 2022
On Monday against the Vegas Golden Knights, for the first time in franchise history, the Capitals took the ice with five original draft picks who have played 600 or more NHL games solely for the Caps (Alex Ovechkin: 1,240 games; Nicklas Backstrom: 1,021; John Carlson: 848; Tom Wilson: 608; Dmitry Orlov: 606). The Capitals join the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Islanders, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings as the only NHL teams to accomplish this feat. This achievement was most recently accomplished by the Kings, with several occurrences from 2018-19 to the 2019-20 season with combinations of Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis and Jonathan Quick. The Montreal Canadiens hold the record for the most games played under these circumstances (101 total games played). There were several occurrences among the Canadiens between 1982-83 through the 1984-85 season.
Coach Laviolette was asked on 106.7 The Fan this morning how much input he had regarding acquiring players at the trade deadline:
“That’s Brian’s job. But Brian and I talk constantly, everyday. Not necessarily about that (trade deadline). It could be about our lineup. It could be about taxi squad. It could be about players getting recalled from Hershey. It could be about anything. It could be about the game the night before. So we communicate everyday. I think that communication is important. But at the end of the day, that’s Brian’s job.”
By Jon Sorensen