Tom Wilson Out, Ilya Samsonov Gets The Start, Line Changes For Game 6: News From Capitals Morning Skate

The Washington Capitals had the day off on Thursday as the team returned from Florida Thursday afternoon. Game 6 of the Capitals-Panthers series is set for tonight at Capital One Arena, with puck drop set for 7:30PM ET. Here’s the latest from the team’s morning skate at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.

Tom Wilson skated prior to the team’s morning skate but did not participate in the actual morning skate. Coach Laviolette confirmed he will miss a fifth-straight game.

Laviolette changed the line combinations ahead of Game 6, moving Conor Sheary up to the top line and moving T.J. Oshie down to the second line on the right side. The lines and pairs at morning skate:

The Capitals recalled goaltender Pheonix Copley from Hershey and re-assigned Hunter Shepard. He and Joe Snively skated with the team at morning skate.

Capitals power play units:
PP1: Carlson, Ovechkin, Oshie, Backstrom, Kuznetsov
PP2: Orlov, Shultz, Sheary, Mantha, Johansson

Alex Ovechkin

In the Alex Ovechkin era, the Caps have won six of their seven games overall in Game 6s when facing elimination. In 27 career games when facing elimination, Ovechkin has recorded 24 points (13g, 11a). His 13 goals are tied for the sixth-most in NHL history, leading Washington to a combined 15-12 record when he is in the lineup in an elimination game.

Ovechkin enters tonight’s game with 72 career playoff goals, tied with Esa Tikkanen and Patrick Marleau for the 14th most in NHL history. Ovechkin’s 141 playoff points (72g, 69a) rank third among active players, despite ranking 10th in games played. In this series, Ovechkin has recorded an assist in five-straight games to become the second player in franchise history to record a postseason-opening assist streak of at least five games, joining Scott Stevens (five games in 1984). Ovechkin has recorded 51 points (26g, 25a) in his last 49 playoff games, dating back to the start of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

A Rise In Crime

There was clear indication right from the start of this year’s postseason. The NHL would be calling more penalties and the data is confirming that. In fact, penalties this postseason are way up when compared to previous seasons – the most we’ve seen since 2010. (More on the Capitals and penalties)

Graphic: @NHLToSeattle

Down On The Farm

Hendrix Lapierre and the Acadie-Bathurst Titan are in the thick of their first-round QMJHL playoff series with the Halifax Mooseheads. Lapierre had three points with a goal and two assists for the Titan in Game 4 on Wednesday night. He has four goals and five assists in the first four games of the series.

Lapierre’s teammate Riley Kidney scored at 16:14 of the third overtime period as the Titan managed to force a fifth and deciding game with a 4-3 win.Game 5 is set for Friday night.

John Carlson

“We’ve had a lot of good moments so far in this series … focus on that and have the confidence that I know we do have. Try to learn from our mistakes and then move past it and have a good effort tonight.”

Peter Laviolette

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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3 Responses to Tom Wilson Out, Ilya Samsonov Gets The Start, Line Changes For Game 6: News From Capitals Morning Skate

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think these lines are ideal, without Wilson. Just let it all hang out tonight.

  2. Anonymous says:

    C’mon, boys….not ready for the season to end!

  3. Anonymous says:


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