Connor McMichael, Joe Snively Set To Start First Game Of 2022-23 Season: Notes From Capitals Optional Morning Skate In Ottawa

The Capitals made their way north of the border Wednesday afternoon for their second road trip to Canada in the last eight days. The team held an optional morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre this morning, and will do battle with the Senators tonight. Puck drop is set for 7PM.


With Evgeny Kuznetsov (suspension) and Connor Brown (lower body injury) out of the lineup for tonight, the forward lines and defensive pairs for tonight’s game will most likely resemble the lines from Wednesday’s practice:

Alex Ovechkin — Lars Eller — Conor Sheary
Aliaksei Protas — Dylan Strome — T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson — Connor McMichael — Anthony Mantha
Joe Snively — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Martin Fehervary — John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Extras: Matt Irwin, Beck Malenstyn

Darcy Kuemper is expected to make his fourth start of the season tonight against the Senators.


The Washington Capitals visit the Ottawa Senators for the first of three meetings between the two teams this season. The Capitals took two of three games against them last season, including a 7-5 win on October 25 in their lone visit to the nation’s capital up north, and are 17-2-1 vs. Ottawa since 2014-15. (Game Preview)

Goals-per-game: 3.25 (18th) 3.33 (T-16th)
Goals-against per game: 3.25 (18th) 4.00 (T-24th)
Power Play: 21.4% (T-15th) 12.5% (T-22nd)
Penalty Kill: 70% (25th) 77.8% (19th)
Shots-per-game: 30 (20th) 31.7 (T-17th)
Shots-against per game: 30.3 (13th) 34 (T-20th)
Faceoff-winning %: 43.9% (24th) 51.7% (16th)
5v5 Corsi-for Percentage: 50.98% (16th) 47.62% (22nd)
5v5 x Goals-For %: 48.74% (19th) 50.9% (13th)
5v5 SCF Percentage: 48.55% (20th) 52.82% (13th)
5v5 Shooting Percentage: 11.36% (eighth) 9.64% (13th)
5v5 Save Percentage: .9032 (22nd) .9091 (17th)
5v5 PDO: 1.017 (17th) 1.005 (16th)

Action from Canadian Tire Centre can be seen on NBC Sports Washington in-market or ESPN+ out-of-market beginning at 7 PM ET.


Conor Sheary scored a goal vs. the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, his second-straight game with a goal and his third goal in four games this season. Through four games, Sheary leads the Capitals in goals, with all three coming at five-on-five.

Last season, 14 of Sheary’s 19 goals were scored during five-on-five play, which ranked tied for second on the team (Alex Ovechkin: 24; Tom Wilson: 14). Since joining the Capitals ahead of the 2020-21 season, Sheary ranks third on Washington in goals (36) and second in goals at five-on-five (29).


Last week and during the run-up to the start of the season we discussed at length the advanced stat “expected goals” and the overall values of the stat. (Definition here). The following graph plots the current expected goals differential for all Capitals skaters after four games. [Click to enlarge].

As Justin detailed yesterday (here) the fourth line continues to struggle. Is it the absence of Carl Hagelin? Are they just getting off to a slow start? Or are they still trying to find the perfect replacement for Hagelin? We will continue to track over the course of the season.


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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5 Responses to Connor McMichael, Joe Snively Set To Start First Game Of 2022-23 Season: Notes From Capitals Optional Morning Skate In Ottawa

  1. novafyre says:

    I do not believe that this is going to be an easy game for them. The Sens’ game against Boston was . . . interesting.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We need this one. It would be nice to snag these two points, without Kuzy, etc.

  3. DWGie26 says:

    Sens can put up some goals. I’m looking forward to tonight. We need Keumper to be a beast tonight and our young guns to put some speed pressure on. Ready to drop the puck!

  4. Jon Sorensen says:

    Late line changes:

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