The Washington Capitals returned to work on Friday following their 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. They next host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Capital One Arena on Saturday night. Puck drop is set for 7PM.
The team held an optional practice on Friday and will hold their game-day morning skate at 10:30AM on Saturday. Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and Beck Malenstyn all skated at today’s optional practice.
Beck Malenstyn (finger) is on the ice for the Capitals’ optional skate this morning in a non-contact jersey. Another practice, albeit an optional, logged for both Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson.
— Matt Weyrich (@ByMattWeyrich) December 16, 2022
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette was asked for an update on the injured players.
#AllCaps injury updates from coach Peter Laviolette:
-Thinks Darcy Kuemper is “close,” but goalie not yet cleared for games
-Martin Fehervary skating solo, progressing
-Beck Malenstyn in group workouts now
-Optimism about Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom “ramping up.”
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) December 16, 2022
The Capitals tangle with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night for the second meeting of the season between the two teams. Former Capitals netminder Ilya Samsonov has already been named the starter for the Maple Leafs.
Toronto has taken four straight and five of the last seven against Washington dating back to the start of the 2018-19 season, including a 3-2 win at Scotiabank Arena on October 13. Action from Capital One Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington locally or NHL Network nationally starting at 7 PM ET.
With Beck Malenstyn close to returning, who would you prefer stay on the Capitals roster?
With his goal Tuesday at Chicago, Orlov tied Al Iafrate (58) for the ninth-most goals by a defenseman in franchise history. Orlov, who passed Sergei Gonchar (654) for the fifth-most games played a defenseman in franchise history on Nov. 3 at Detroit, also sits 27 games shy of passing Kevin Hatcher (685) for fourth place on that list. More here.
STAT OF THE DAY – SHOTS FIRED
With five shots on goal in Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Stars, Alex Ovechkin is now just nine shots away from tying Ray Bourque on the all-time shots on goal list.
It’s probably a safe bet that Ovechkin will pass Bourque in the next three games, and potentially on the Capitals current home stand.
DOWN ON THE FARM
Thursday night was a quiet night for Washington Capitals prospects, so here are a few minutes of Alexander Suzdalev’s post-game presser on Wednesday night courtesy of the Regina Pats.
The 18-year-old is in his first year playing in North America. He scored his 18th goal of the season Wednesday night against Spokane Chiefs and now has points in eight-straight games, points in 17 of last 18 games and 31 points over last 18 games.
NOW YOU SEE HIM, NOW YOU DON’T
And finally, the digital dasher boards claimed another victim last night in the district. It appears Marcus Johansson was swallowed, whole.
— Kyle (@eausnap) December 16, 2022
By Jon Sorensen