T.J. Oshie And Justin Schultz Set To Return To Lineup: News From Capitals’ Morning Skate In New York


The Washington Capitals held their gameday morning skate Thursday morning at Madison Square Garden (MSG) in Manhattan. They face the Rangers tonight at 7:00 PM on ESPN.
T.J. Oshie took line rushes with the starters at morning skate, further indicating he may return to the lineup tonight. Oshie has been out since Jan.15 with an upper body injury. The last time Oshie and the Capitals played at MSG Oshie scored that emotional hat trick a day after his father passed.

Justin Schultz also took rushes with the starters and looks like a possible return tonight as well. Here are the lines at morning skate:

Oshie worked with the first power play unit while defenseman Justin Schultz practiced with the second unit.

Vitek Vanecek looks to be the third goalie tonight.

Following practice Capitals Coach Peter Laviolette said the team is “hoping” T.J. Oshie is good to go for tonight’s game. He needs to get final

New York State Of Mind

The Capitals face the New York Rangers tonight for the second time this season. Washington won the first matchup against New York in the season opener, 5-1, on Oct. 13, 2021. The Capitals have earned points in 15 of their last 20 games against the Rangers (13-5-2) andhave a 9-3-1 record against Metropolitan Division teams this season, the highest points percentage (.730) in the division.

The Rangers have the third-best power play in the NHL and hold a sizeable edge over the Capitals in overall specials teams (Special Teams Index – STI). It’s safe to say penalties will be critical Thursday night, but what else is new? Here are the baseline stats for tonight’s tilt.

In the Capitals last visit to Madison Square Garden on May 5, 2021, T.J. Oshie recorded a hat trick. Oshie finished as the game’s first star in the Capitals’ 4-2 win.

You can read our full game preview here.

Road Warriors

The Capitals are 16-5-4 on the road this season and have the highest points percentage (.720) in the NHL. Washington’s 2.48 allowed goals per game on the road ranks third in the NHL, while their 3.44 goals per game rate ranks fifth. The Capitals are the only team in the NHL to rank in the top-5 in both respective categories. Over the last two seasons, the Capitals’ .717 road points percentage ranks first (35-12-6 record).

On The Rebound

The graphic below plots the average shots off of rebounds for all of the league’s goaltenders with 500 or more minutes of playing time. Vitek Vanecek has the league lowest average, while Ilya Samsonov has the league’s fourth highest rate.

Russian Invasion Of Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised less-important questions related to the world of hockey. Media had requested comment from Alex Ovechkin, but he and the Capitals have declined in order to have some time before he speaks on the subject.

 

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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