T.J. Oshie Returns To Top Line, Ilya Samsonov To Start Tonight: News From Capitals Morning Skate In Denver


The Washington Capitals left Montreal, Quebec for Denver, Colorado late Saturday night following their 8-4 win over the Canadiens. The team arrived in the Mile High City a little after 1:00 A.M. mountain time, making for a very long day for the Capitals. As a result, the team had the day off on Sunday.

The Capitals have won their past two visits and five of their past six to Denver. Action from Ball Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington locally or NHL Network nationally beginning at 9 PM ET. You can read more about tonight’s game in our complete game preview here.

Morning Skate

T.J. Oshie returned to the top line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin. Conor Sheary was dropped to the second line. The lines and pairs at morning skate:

Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal tonight against the Avalanche. It looks like Connor McMichael, Matt Irwin, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Michal Kempny will once again be the scratches for tonight.

The Avalanche will be without several players tonight against the Capitals. Kadri, Toews, Cogliano and Erik Johnson won’t play. All dealing with minor injuries.

Rocky Mountain Way

The Capitals continue their season-long five-game road trip (1-1-0) tonight when they face the Colorado Avalanche for the second and final time this season. 

The Capitals won the previous matchup, 6-3, on Oct. 19, 2021, at Capital One Arena behind three-point performances from Evgeny Kuznetsov (1g, 2a) and Tom Wilson (3a).

How Each Team Is Doing

Capitals: 5-1-0 in their past six and 14-5-1 since losing three straight in regulation from February 24-28

Avalanche: league-best 14-1-1 since losing four of five (1-3-1) in early March, have won nine straight and are 10-0-1 in their past 11.


Playoffs Bound

With Toronto’s 4-2 win over the New York Islanders Sunday, the Capitals clinched their eighth consecutive playoff berth and the 32nd in franchise history. Washington’s run of eight consecutive playoff appearances is the second-longest in franchise history, behind a stretch of 14 straight from 1983 to 1996, and is the second-longest active streak in the NHL (Pittsburgh Penguins: 16, 2007–2022).

In total, 13 players on Washington’s roster are Stanley Cup Champions, including nine who won with them in 2018: Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, Lars Eller, Michal Kempny, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson.

By Jon Sorensen

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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6 Responses to T.J. Oshie Returns To Top Line, Ilya Samsonov To Start Tonight: News From Capitals Morning Skate In Denver

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oshie back on top line and sheary on second line is probably the best way to go.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Capitals/Laviolette still hoping/trying for Samsonov in number one spot.

  3. DWGie26 says:

    I love that Mantha-Eller-Wilson line. When they have been together it is a lot of beef and they move the puck well. 4th line is really gelling with Larsson as well. And Backstrom needs speed on his wings so Sheary is a great fit with him. Can’t wait to have Snively on that left wing instead of MoJo though!

    • Dan+Hornbaker says:

      Will it be snively next year with Eller in the center, McMichael or Backstrom manning the 3rd line?? And if yes on Backy, then they likely sign a #2 center because I don’t think CM or Eller are 2nd line center next year.

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