The Kids Are Alright: Beck Malenstyn and Aliaksei Protas Continue to Impress, Score in 3-0 Victory Over Nashville

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Heading into the 2022-23 season two of the Washington Capitals prospects that sought spots on the roster were Aliaksei Protas and Beck Malenstyn. Despite limited room in the NHL lineup to start, both have found their way into game action just nine games into the young season and are making the most of the opportunity.

In the Capitals’ Saturday night 3-0 victory against the Nashville Predators, Malenstyn (who did not start the season with Washington) scored his first goal of the season and second of his career to give the Caps a 1-0 lead heading into the second intermission; Dowd picked up the lone assist on the goal, which proved to be the game-winner.

The goal marks Malenstyn’s second point in three games in the lineup and comes as the fourth-line has been clicking since his insertion into the lineup. While not known as a point-per-night player, Malenstyn has brought a hardworking, physical presence to the line that seems to have energized Dowd and Hathaway as well. In the six games prior to the 24-year old’s joining the fourth-line, Dowd had recorded three points (2G, 1A) and was a minus-1, while Hathaway had no points and a minus-1 rating; in the three games since, their respective totals have been a goal and an assist each in three games.

Protas, meanwhile, earned a spot in the Opening Night lineup and has been impressive, putting up two goals and one assist in nine games while also playing responsibly without the puck. The 21-year old was drafted in the third-round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Caps, while Malenstyn was a fifth-round pick in 2016. All three of his points have come in his past three games.

The Capitals finished the night with an empty-net goal from captain Alex Ovechkin to shutout the Preds 3-0, and look to finish their four-game road trip on Monday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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9 Responses to The Kids Are Alright: Beck Malenstyn and Aliaksei Protas Continue to Impress, Score in 3-0 Victory Over Nashville

  1. Anonymous says:

    Two old players leave, two kids step up. 🤔

  2. Lance says:

    Kuemper was good! Nice goal from Malenstyn set up by Dowd. Good to see Protas rewarded.

    I found this game to be pretty much of a yawner. Take the 2 points and run.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caps have been very boring to watch this year even in wins. Maybe some youth inserted in line up and Wilson’s eventual return will make them interesting again.

      • Lance says:

        I agree they’re really mediocre-looking when it comes to offensive skill. Kuzy looks like a 2nd line center who is struggling to find his game and will find it sooner or later. Strome looks like a solid middle 6 center. I haven’t seen much elite skill out there this year. Maybe they’re just getting old. Most of the NHL games involving other teams seem messy and short on skill, too. Lots of errant passing.

        Can’t complain about a 3-0 shutout but it wasn’t pretty for either team.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I sure the G situations and the rookies… now get CMM in…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Never play Carlson again is what this tells me.

  5. steven says:

    Shame to see anyone get injured but this may just be a blessing in disguise as either CMM or Snively gets more playing time. If they are out long term do they recall AA sooner or maybe McIlrath or Gabriel Carlsson. If Oshie is out long term could Gersich get the call or do they bring up Lapierre?

    • Lance says:

      I don’t expect McMichael to get a fair chance while Lavi is here. He just doesn’t like his game for some reason. Other players make hilarious mistakes and continue to get a regular shift. But if McMichael’s winger stone-hands a pass then McMichael sits for the rest of the game.

      It’s a big year for Snively. He looked great last year before he got hurt.

      The Caps centers are pretty mediocre. With Backstrom out the forward group looks like lost puppies out there most of the time. There’s no offensive plan or strategy that I can see. The organization needs centers. McMichael and Lapierre might make it but you gotta keep great centers coming.

      • steven says:

        I like Strom at C but would trade Kuzy if a good offer came along. AS a team the Caps are mediocre not just at center. They have several over achievers in Sherry and Hathaway. Sad to say but winning and making the playoffs and always drafting low has really hurt this team along with, in my opinion, bad cap management and keeping players to long.

        Agree that as long as the HC is here CMM gets little to no playing time. with the O,D and PP in such a funk and if they are still in this funk at Thanksgiving I wonder, and hope, that the HC and his buddies McCarthy Forsythe also go.

        This is a big year for a lot of the Caps as 11 or 12 of them are UFA or RFA after this season. And after next year 6 of them are UFA or RFA. So this team is looking at a major rebuild the next 2 years with salary cap problems unless several players; Backy, Hagelin retire and they can unload Oshie, Carlson, Mantha and Eller. It would be nice to see what Scott Allen could do with this bunch and maybe get in a few coaches who would work specifically on the PP, faceoffs and playing tighter and more frequent D.

        Just maybe the Caps get lucky this year and next and not squeak into the playoffs and get eliminated in the first round but rather get into the lottery and obtain a top 3 pick who can play immediately not be committed to play in Russia for 2=5 years.

        On a different note so far it looks like Sammy was kicked in the arse and jolted awake as his save % is 920and his GAA is 2.35 with a 4-2 record. Is it that the coaches in Toronto are better, their D better or he is not being pampered an starting to act like a starting goalie in the NHL,

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