The Washington Capitals winged their way to the Sunshine State on Saturday afternoon following an optional skate at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. They begin a three-game road trip tonight against the Lightning in Tampa before moving to the east coast to face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. They will wrap-up the three-game excursion on Thursday against the Blues in St. Louis. Puck drop tonight is set for 7PM on ESPN.
LINES AT MORNING SKATE
Connor McMichael returns to the lineup in place of the suspended Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Dmitry Orlov skated this morning, but does not appear to be making his return to the lineup tonight. The lines and pairs at morning skate courtesy of Samantha Pell of the Washington Post.
Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano — Dylan Strome — Marcus Johansson
Connor McMichael – Lars Eller – Anthony Mantha
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway
Erik Gustafsson — John Carlson
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Darcy Kuemper was the first goaltender off the ice, indicating he will likely get the start tonight against the a Lightning.
PP1: Ovechkin, Carlson, Kuznetsov, Johansson, Strome
PP2: TvR, Gustafsson, Mantha, Sheary, Milano
Extras: Alexander Alexeyev, Joe Snively
Suspended: Nicolas Aube-Kubel (3 games)
Injuries: Dmitry Orlov, Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, T.J. Oshie, Connor Brown, Beck Malenstyn
Peter Laviolette, who entered the league’s Covid-protocol on Friday, will miss a second-consecutive game tonight.
The Capitals complete a home-and-home set with Tampa Bay tonight when they visit the Lightning at Amalie Arena. The Capitals defeated the Lightning 5-1 at Capital One Arena on Friday. Washington is 5-3-2 in their last 10 games at Amalie Arena.
Capitals are on the ice for morning skate in Tampa. pic.twitter.com/ScEamcpiF1
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) November 13, 2022
Andrei Vasilevskiy was the first goalie off the ice for the Lightning at their morning skate this morning, so expect him to get the start tonight. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said Erik Cernak or Cal Foote will not play tonight. Cernak and Foote are considered day-to-day.
Fight Night, Part 2?
79 penalty minutes in all were doled out. This included minutes for a fight between Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway and Pat Maroon, which earned them both a fighting major penalty and an additional misconduct penalty. As a result, the DoPS has fined them both for their altercation.
JOHNNY BE GOOD
With his 600th career point, Carlson passed Michal Pivonka (599) for the fifth-most points in franchise history. Carlson is the Capitals’ franchise leader in assists (466) and points (600) among defensemen and ranks second in games played (897) and third in goals (134) all-time among Washington blueliners.
Carlson became the sixth active defensemen to reach the 600-point mark, joining Brent Burns (230g-557a-787p), Erik Karlsson (163g-518a-681p), Kris Letang (144g-514a-658p), Ryan Suter (100g-542a-642p) and Victor Hedman (135g-477a-612p). Among the six defensemen, Carlson’s 897 games needed to reach the milestone are the fourth fewest (Karlsson: 730 GP; Letang: 887 GP; Hedman: 896 GP).
STAT OF THE DAY – FOR AND AGAINST
Today’s stat revisits expected goals for and against goals against for each of the Capitals skaters at 5-on-5. The following graph is the differential (xGF – xGA) for each skater. [Click to enlarge].
BONUS STAT – GOALS SAVED ABOVE EXPECTED
As we’ve discussed before, goaltending can also be evaluated utilizing the expected goals metric.
The Capitals goaltenders currently have the third greatest positive differential, meaning they are stopping a lot more goals than expected.
DOWN ON THE FARM
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) November 13, 2022