Alex Ovechkin Game-Time Decision, Ilya Samsonov Starts In Goal Tonight Against Islanders: News From Capitals Morning Skate


The Washington Capitals have just three games remaining in the 2021-22 regular season, but there is still plenty to be decided. The Capitals are just one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division, with one game in hand. The Capitals could still secure third place and potentially face the New York Rangers, or they could remain in fourth place and likely face the Florida Panthers.

But first things first. The Capitals need to take care of business tonight when they host the New York Islanders at Capital One Arena. Here is the latest from morning skate at MedStar Capitals Iceplex this morning.

Alex Ovechkin did not participate in this morning’s skate. Connor McMichael took Ovechkin’s place at left wing on the top line for this morning’s line rushes. Ilya Samsonov will get the start tonight against the Islanders.

The lines and pairs at morning skate:

Capitals Power Play Units:
PP1: Schultz, Carlson (Ovechkin spot), Oshie, Backstrom, Kuznetsov
PP2: Orlov, Mantha, Wilson, Johansson, Sheary

Barry’s Boys

The Islanders will have a lot to say about the Capitals fate, as the two teams square-off in two of the Capitals final three games. The Capitals have won each of their last five home games against the Islanders, dating back to Jan. 26, 2021, of last season.

Washington has shutout New York in three of the last five times the teams have met. Vitek Vanecek recorded a 23-save shutout in the Capitals’ first matchup against the Islanders on Jan. 15. In his career, Vanecek is 5-1-0 against the Islanders with two shutouts, a 1.74 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.

Tonight’s game marks the Capitals’ final home game of the season. Washington will conclude the 2021-22 campaign with a winning record at home for the 15th consecutive season.

Honoring Alex

Prior to the game tonight, the Capitals will honor captain Alex Ovechkin for his historic season and passing Jaromir Jagr for sole possession of third place on the NHL’s all-time goals list. During the ceremony, Ovechkin will receive a special gift from the organization. Ted Leonsis, chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment will join Ovechkin on the ice for the ceremony.

All fans in attendance will receive a Commemorative 3rd All-Time banner featuring milestones from Ovechkin’s career. In addition, fans are encouraged to visit sections 407-409 to view an Ovechkin tribute display which features a career timeline, goal milestones, and accomplishments over the years.

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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