No Changes To Lines: News From Capitals Final Practice Before Departing For Florida


The Washington Capitals held one final practice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Monday morning before the team departed for South Florida. The Capitals and Panthers kick-off their best-of-seven first-round series Tuesday night at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM.

There were no changes in lines from Sunday, possibly indicating the Game 1 lineup for Tuesday night. Lines at this morning’s practice.

All three goaltenders – Ilya Samsonov, Vitek Vanecek and Zach Fucale, recalled by the Capitals on Sunday, participated in the Capitals practice.

Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said he’ll “probably” announce the starting goalie after morning skate tomorrow. He also said Alex Ovechkin (upper body) continues to move in right direction, there were no restrictions on him again today & they’ll see how he feels in the morning.

PP1: Carlson, Ovechkin, Oshie, Backstrom, Kuznetsov. PP2: Orlov, Schultz, Wilson, Mantha, Johansson.

The Panthers held their final full practice before the series starts on Tuesday. They had a full roster at practice today. lines at Monday morning’s practice.

Working his way back after missing the final 20 games of the regular season due to a lower-body injury, defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who has been steadily building up his strength since first returning to the ice in early April, was a full participant throughout the Panthers first practice on Sunday.

John Carlson

Caps defenseman John Carlson (117 playoff games) is set to skate in his 12th postseason with the Capitals, which would place him ahead of Calle Johansson (11) for the most playoff appearances in franchise history among defensemen. Carlson ranks fifth among active defensemen with 68 career playoff points (18g, 50a).

During the 2021-22 regular season, Carlson reached the 70-point mark (17g, 54a) for the third time in his last four seasons. He became the 18th defenseman in NHL history to record three 70-point seasons and one of two active defensemen (Erik Karlsson: four 70-point seasons).

In addition, Carlson set a career high for goals (17g), becoming one of nine defensemen in franchise history to reach that mark in a season. This season, Carlson passed Mike Ridley, Bengt Gustafsson and Dale Hunter to reach sixth on the franchise points list. Carlson also passed Michal Pivonka (418a) for the third-most assists in franchise history this season.

Caps-Cats

Yesterday we presented the basic pre-series stats and today we dig a little deeper, taking a look at the possession, shot and goaltending metrics. [Click to enlarge].

As expected, the Panthers possession metrics are dominant. Goaltending is relatively equal while shot metrics slightly favor the Capitals.

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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