Capitals Hold Optional Skate, Ivan Miroshnichenko Scores Again: Notes From Tuesday Morning


The Washington Capitals held an optional gameday morning skate Tuesday morning at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida. They face the Florida Panthers tonight before heading to St. Louis to close-out their three-game road trip against the Blues on Thursday.

LINES AND PAIRS AT MORNING SKATE

Sonny Milano moved to the top line at practice on Monday. The team did not go through line rushes at their optional skate Tuesday morning, but it’s anticipated the Capitals lines will look something like this tonight:

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Sonny Milano
Marcus Johansson – Dylan Strome – Conor Sheary
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
Charlie Lindgren

Extras: Alexander Alexeyev, Joe Snively
Suspended: Nicolas Aube-Kubel (2 more games)
Injuries: Dmitry Orlov, Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, T.J. Oshie, Connor Brown, Beck Malenstyn.

The Capitals visit the Florida Panthers tonight at FLA Live Arena for the first of three meetings between the teams this season. It is the first meeting since the two teams met in the first round of last years playoffs. Florida took the first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series between the two teams in six games last May.

The Panthers also took two of three regular-season meetings, including both games in Sunrise, against Washington although all of them were played throughout November 2021.

Puck drop from FLA Live Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington in-market or ESPN+ out-of-market starting at 7 PM ET.

FLORIDA MAN

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has recorded 88 points (43g, 45a) in 68 career games versus Florida (1.29 P/GP). Ovechkin ranks first all-time in career goals, assists and points against the Panthers.

Ovechkin has recorded 15 points (8g, 7a) in his last 10 games against Florida, including three three-point efforts in the previous five games. During the Capitals’ First Round playoff series against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers last spring, Ovechkin recorded six points (1g, 5a) in six games. Ovechkin has scored 15 goals in 29 career games against Sergei Bobrovsky, the eighth-most goals Ovechkin has scored on a single goaltender. Ovechkin has scored two goals in two career games against Spencer Knight. [More from the Capitals here]

STAT OF THE DAY – DOT IMPROVEMENTS

Today’s “stat of the day” revisits the Capitals faceoff winning percentage, which currently sits at 46.4% [Click to enlarge].

Since bottoming out on October 29 in Nashville, the Capitals faceoff winning percentage has been steadily on the rise. The question remains, when and where will the average level out?

BONUS STAT – MINDING THE NETS

Today’s bonus stat checks in on the Capitals goaltending tandem, with a look at their expected goals differential. (xGA – GA). Click to enlarge.

Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren remain well into the positive in xGA – GA. 16th and 17th best among all netminders with 150+ mins.

DOWN ON THE FARM

Capitals first round draft pick Ivan Miroshnichenko scored again today. He’s scored in four-consecutive games.

Capitals center prospect Ryan Hofer recorded another multi-goal game on Friday. The 20-year-old center has 12 goals and seven assists in 17 games played so far this season (1.11 points/game)

Capitals forward prospect Ludwig Persson dented the twine in a recent international junior tournament (more on tournament here).

The Washington Capitals announced on July 15 the signing of Persson to a three-year entry-level contract. He will earn $775,000 in each of the first two seasons of the deal and $800,000 (NHL) in the third and $82,500 in the AHL. The Capitals selected Persson with their third round pick (#85 overall) of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

SHAVINGS

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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30 Responses to Capitals Hold Optional Skate, Ivan Miroshnichenko Scores Again: Notes From Tuesday Morning

  1. Anonymous says:

    Excited to see the top line get to work tonight.

  2. KimRB says:

    I have little, if any, faith in our NHL team, as currently constructed. Can’t wait to see these youngsters at the NHL level though. The kids look alright (to paraphrase Mr. Townshend)

  3. Jonathan says:

    Jon,

    With Perrson a 3rd round pick in the 2022 draft, wasn’t it rather early for the Caps to sign him to an entry level contract? It also meant they couldn’t sign Has, right? What am I missing here? If he was signed early, do you know why?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      You aren’t missing anything, Jonathan. You are correct. My take is that the team saw a lot in Persson at development camp in July and signed him right away. It’s a good sign for him.

      As for Has, the team was running low on available contracts (50 total allowed), so I guess they didn’t see enough from him yet. Fortunately the Bears signed a few prospects (Bear Hughes, Has, etc.) as a means of keeping the players close to the Capitals organization.

    • dwgie26 says:

      Yes… what Jon said. Also interesting that Perrson and other 2022 draft picks had a Hershey part of their contract published as well leading some to think they may try to have them play in AHL in next year or two (not this year).

  4. novafyre says:

    Still no mention of Lavi.

  5. dwgie26 says:

    its a hard spot we are in right now. Lots of bodies coming and going. Our 13/14th forward not doing enough to be in the lineup consistently. All of this leads to a lot of line juggling. So good on staff for trying to find the right mix, but still leads to more inconsistency. It is a catch-22. But I like seeing Milano on first line. I would like to see

    OV-Kuzy-Milano
    Sheary-Strome-Mantha
    Snively-Eller-Protas
    Mojo-Dowd-hathaway

    Like to see Mantha move up. Like Snively speed with Eller and Protas. I like Mojo on 4th line which is where he was pegged in training camp. We need to establish 4th line.

    • hockeydruid says:

      Like your lineup except making one change….Eller out as 3rd line C and putting in CMM. Give the kid a shot of 10-15 games at his natural position. Putting him in a wing does nothing for the team or his development. If you want to play Eller move hi to wing on the 4th line in place of MoJo.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Milano and Strome looked good together. Guess it makes sense to break them up.

  7. Jon Sorensen says:

    • novafyre says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mike Vogel. Heard his name often enough but was wondering who the interviewer was before I played the vid. Now I know.

  8. Jon Sorensen says:

  9. novafyre says:

    So NBCSW pregame said snively in, McM out. dwgie26 gets his wish on that. Alexa also said something about Milano and Sheary switching but not sure what she meant.

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