Connor McMichael Replaces Lars Eller At Center On Third Line, Daniel Sprong Returns: News From Capitals’ Monday Practice


The Washington Capitals returned to work Monday morning following a couple of days off. The team returned from their successful western Canada road trip on Saturday and had a full day off on Sunday. They next host the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

The Capitals announced Monday morning that Lars Eller has been placed in COVID protocol. Eller currently remains in Vancouver, where the Capitals last played. He scored the overtime game-winning goal against the Canucks. Eller was stuck in Anaheim for 10 days in November when he tested positive there.

Connor McMichael replaced Lars Eller at center on the third line. Daniel Sprong replaced McMichael at left wing on the third line. Lines at Monday’s practice:

The Capitals power play units at practice on Monday:

The Capitals host the New York Islanders on Tuesday at Capital One Arena. (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market). Tom Wilson met with the media following practice on Monday:

Nicklas Backstrom also met with the media following on practice on Monday:

Goaltending

The following graph plots the five-on-five save percentage for all NHL goaltenders with more than 500 minutes of ice time. Vitek Vanecek is currently fourth-best in the league with a save percentage of .936%. Ilya Samsonov is again below the league average of .917% at .909%.

Evgeny Means Necessary

Evgeny Kuznetsov became the third Capital this season to record a hat trick Friday night against the Vancouver Canucks, joining T.J. Oshie (Oct. 25, 2021 at Ottawa) and Alex Ovechkin (Nov. 26, 2021 vs. Florida). That marked Kuznetsov’s second career hat trick (Oct. 23, 2015 at Edmonton), and he became the 21st player in franchise history to record multiple hat tricks. Only 10 players in franchise history have recorded three or more hat tricks, including Ovechkin (28) and Oshie (3).

This season, Kuznetsov ranks second on the team in goals (19), assists (38) and points (57). This could mark the second time in the last five seasons he has ranked second or better in each respective category (also 2017-18). Kuznetsov’s a point per game rate this season (57 points in 57 games) is the second highest of his career, only behind his 1.05 rate during the 2017-18 season, when he set career highs in goals (27) and points (83). The Capitals hold a 25-10-4 record when Kuznetsov records a point this season, good for a .692 points percentage.

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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1 Response to Connor McMichael Replaces Lars Eller At Center On Third Line, Daniel Sprong Returns: News From Capitals’ Monday Practice

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think I like this lineup better. C-Mac at 3c and Spring in at wing. Give them a few games to gel.

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