Alex Ovechkin Will Play, Vitek Vanecek Gets The Start In Goal: News From Capitals Morning Skate

The Washington Capitals held their gameday morning skate this morning at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida. They open their first round series against the Panthers tonight with puck drop set for 7:30 PM. Here’s the latest from Capitals morning skate.

The Capitals announced that they had changed their morning skate from “mandatory” to “optional” just prior to the morning skate at 11:30 AM.

Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin participated in the team’s optional skate for a few minutes before departing.

Coach Laviolette said after morning skate that Alex Ovechkin will play tonight. He missed the last three games of the regular season with a upper body injury. Laviolette also said that Vitek Vanecek will get the start in goal.

“Vitek we gave the start to last year and it didn’t go the way he wanted or as planned with regard to that. But the body of work that he had this year just earns him the nod for Game 1,” said Laviolette following the morning skate.


The Capitals face the Florida Panthers tonight in Game 1 of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.Washington is 29-21 in Game 1s in franchise history and 9-9 in Game 1s played on the road. Since 2014, the Capitals 42 playoff wins rank third in the NHL, only behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (70) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (49).

The Capitals active roster for the playoffs has a combined 1,345 playoff game experience entering the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, only trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning (1,585) for the most among the playoff teams.

Thirteen players on the Capitals’ active roster have won the Stanley Cup a total of 16 times – the second-most among playoff teams (Tampa Bay, 16).

Nine of 13 players were apart of Washington’s 2018 championship team: Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller, Michal Kempny, Dmitry Orlov, T.J. Oshie and Tom Wilson. The other Capitals players to win include Conor Sheary (2x), Justin Schultz (2x), Carl Hagelin (2x) and Trevor van Riemsdyk.

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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10 Responses to Alex Ovechkin Will Play, Vitek Vanecek Gets The Start In Goal: News From Capitals Morning Skate

  1. Anonymous says:

    Let’s go!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Vanecek is the right call. Lavi would have had some explaining to do if he went with Sammy, just based on stats alone.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So Sammy game 2.

  4. Marky says:

    C’mon defense support your goalie tonight! Let’s go!

  5. steven says:

    Need to be strong in all phases of the game tonight, Off, Def, PP and PK and especially in goal! As was said in the movie Waterboy……You can do it all night long! The Caps can and if they hope to win must!

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