Lars Eller Returns, Darcy Kuemper, Martin Fehervary And Beck Malenstyn Skate: Notes From Capitals Morning Skate

The Washington Capitals returned home late Tuesday night following their 7-3 victory over the Blackhawks in Chicago on Tuesday night. After a day off on Wednesday the team returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex Thursday morning for final preparations for the Dallas Stars.

The Capitals forward lines and defensive pairs at Thursday’s morning skate:

Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Anthony Mantha
Marcus Johansson — Lars Eller — T.J. Oshie
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway
Extras: Nicolas Aube-Kubel – Nicklas Backstrom – Tom Wilson

Erik Gustafsson — John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Extras: Joe Snively, Lucas Johansen

Charlie Lindgren
Hunter Shepard
Darcy Kuemper

Lars Eller (upper body) participated in Capitals morning skate. He missed the game Tuesday in Chicago.

Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson continue to skate with team in non-contact jerseys.

Martin Fehervary (upper body injury) and Beck Malenstyn (finger surgery) skated prior to the Capitals morning skate. Darcy Kuemper also skated prior to morning skate, and faced shots.


The Capitals will complete their regular-season series with the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. Dallas won the first meeting by a score of 2-0 at American Airlines Center on October 27 and has taken their last three visits to the District. Action from Capital One Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington in-market or NHL Network out-of-market starting at 7 PM ET.

Dallas continues a five-game Metropolitan Division road trip after splitting the first two games. Washington opens a three-game homestand and stretch where they play 10 of their next 16 in the nation’s capital. [Full Preview Here]


Alex Ovechkin has 800 goals in his NHL career, so far. He has accrued the total all while playing in a relatively low-scoring era with several shortened seasons.

Today’s stat of the day, courtesy of JFresh Hockey, presents a timeline of his goals and points per 82 games by season, adjusted for era using HockeyReference’s method.

According to the adjustment for the eras, Ovechkin would have 968 goals to date.

Wayne Gretzky scored 803 goals in his first 15 NHL seasons. This, in an era in which the netminders average save percentage was 88.01%.

Alex Ovechkin has scored 800 goals in his first 17+ NHL seasons (including lockouts and Covid-shortened seasons). His goals have come in era in which the netminders average save percentage was 91.06%.


Alexander Suzdalev scored his 18th goal of the season last night against Spokane Chiefs. He has points in eight-straight games, points in 17 of last 18 games, 31 points over last 18 games.

Suzdalev also converted in the shootout, his first shootout attempt of the season. He was oddly left out of the Pats only other shootout earlier in the season.

Suzdalev was named the first star of the game.

Ryan Hofer notched his 18th goal of the season last night against Olie Kolzig’s Tri-City Americans.

The Silvertips wrap up their first half (before CHL holiday break) with a home-and-home with the Seattle Thunderbirds, beginning in Kent Friday night and finishing Saturday night in Everett.


W Magazine, a lifestyle publication produced by the Washington Capitals, is now available for purchase for $19.99 at the Team Store at Capital One Arena, at the Team Store at MedStar Capitals Iceplex, and online at

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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10 Responses to Lars Eller Returns, Darcy Kuemper, Martin Fehervary And Beck Malenstyn Skate: Notes From Capitals Morning Skate

  1. Luka Knežević says:

    Playing Matt Irwin 20 games more than LuJo and AA or some other young defensman is HUGE organizational mistake

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Luke, I completely agree. Remember, Lavi loves Irwin, raved again about him this week, and had him when he was coaching in Nashville. It’s likely Laviolettes personal preference. Not saying I agree, but it’s probably what’s going on.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why put Eller back in. Lineup was fine without him.

    • hockeydruid says:

      The HC likes older players, hence Eller and Irwin in the lineup rather than giving players like Joe Snively and Lucas Johansen playing time. I think Lavs moto is “Let them eat pine.” lately they have hit a bunch of teams on a down slide wonder how they will do when they face several teams up an up slide? As it gets closer to Christmas I have this bad feeling that Lav is going to be here all season and that is not good for the future of this team.

  3. dwgie26 says:

    Meanwhile the Caps have won 6 straight and right in the thick of things in large part because we have finally gotten to field a consistent set of lines and pairs.

    I’ll be at the game tonight… hoping for 7 in a row and two OV goals!

  4. KimRB says:

    Taking out NAK, after he was one of the better Caps on Tuesday night? Lawdy Lawdy Lawdy Laviolette! How did you ever win a Stanley Cup?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Joe S ever play again?

  6. KimRB says:

    Dallas is a very top heavy team. Great 1st line, but lacking depth. If the Caps were trending in the wrong direction, I’d expect BMac to be having conversations with Jim Nill, leading to the trade deadline. It’s known that the Stars are looking for a Top 6 forward. Dallas seems primed for a deep playoff run. Should be a good game tonight, with the Caps on a win streak

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