The Washington Capitals returned to work Friday morning for their first practice of the final month of the regular season. The Capitals next host the Minnesota Wild at Capital One Arena on Sunday.
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin returned to practice on Friday. Ovechkin missed the team’s first practice after the two-day break on Wednesday.
Trevor van Riemsdyk is in a full contact jersey at practice today. He’s been on IR since suffering his upper body injury in mid March.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) April 1, 2022
Defenseman Trevor van Reiemsdyk returned to practice and participated in a full-contact jersey.
Game Broadcast Change
The Capitals announced changes to broadcast networks for two games in April. The Capitals game against the Maple Leafs on April 24 has been moved to ESPN+/Hulu, and the Capitals-Islanders game on April 26 has been moved to NBC Sports Washington.
#Caps TV schedule update:
Caps vs the New York Islanders on April 26 (7 pm) will now be broadcast on @NBCSWashington
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) April 1, 2022
Laviolette met with the media following practice. He provided an update in Carl Hagelin, saying he still has a ways to go before potentially returning to the lineup. “Spirits are good, he’s doing good. Still down a long road to recovery, but I see him in there once in a while … I don’t know the exact details of it, but he’s got more work to do.”
Despite dealing with a string of injuries and illness-related absences, the Capitals are one of six teams in the NHL to have three defensive pairings with over 450 minutes at five-on-five time this season (joined by Calgary, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg).
The defensive pair of John Carlson and Martin Fehervary have played a team-high 854:28 together at five-on-five, and rank as the ninth-highest pair in the NHL. Each of the six Capitals defensemen with at least 50 games played (Carlson, Fehervary, Nick Jensen, Dmitry Orlov, Justin Schultz and Trevor van Riemsdyk) are averaging at least 17 minutes per game. Carlson leads all Capitals defensemen with 23:51 per game, which is the 23rd-highest TOI per game rate in the NHL among defensemen this season.
Orlov and Jensen lead all defensive pairs in the NHL with at least 450 minutes in goals for percentage at five-on-five (70.91 goals for percentage). With the duo on the ice, the Capitals have outscored their opponents 39-16 at five-on-five. In addition, the Caps currently rank sixth in the NHL in shots allowed (29.3) and their 35 combined goals by defensemen are the eighth-most in the NHL.