Lars Eller Looks To Be Healthy Scratch, More Line Changes For Islanders Tonight: Notes From Capitals Morning Skate In New York

The Washington Capitals made their way to Long Island, New York Sunday afternoon in advance of their tilt with the Islanders Monday night at UBS Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:30PM. [Game Preview]. 

The Capitals held their gameday morning skate at 11AM Monday morning at UBS Arena. Here’s the latest from the island.


It looks like Lars Eller will be the healthy scratch tonight, as Laviolette continues to tinker with the lines. The forward lines and defensive pairs at morning skate, courtesy of Samantha Pell/Washington Post:

Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Connor Sheary
Anthony Mantha — Evgeny Kuznetsov — T.J. Oshie
Sonny Milano — Nicklas Backstrom — Tom Wilson
Marcus Johansson — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — Trevor van Riemsdyk
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Martin Fehervary

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Extras: Lars Eller, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Alex Alexeyev

Darcy Kuemper was the first goaltender off the ice at morning skate. He’s expected to be in net tonight against the Islanders.


The Washington Capitals visit the New York Islanders on Monday night for the first meeting of the season between the two teams. The teams split four games between them last season with each winning on the other’s turf once.

The Capitals have a record of 7-1-0 in their last eight road games and are 8-4-0 in their last 12 games against the Islanders.

Action from UBS Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington in-market or ESPN+ out-of-market. [Full Game Preview]


Today’s stat of the day plots each of the Capitals skaters’ individual expected goals per 6o after 45 games played. [Click to enlarge].

To nobody’s surprise, Alex Ovechkin tops the list in individual expected goals per 60. In-season acquisitions Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Sonny Milano sit number 2 and number 3, respectively, which is truly impressive. Where would the Capitals be without them? That’s up for debate.

[The statistics used in this post are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick and the NoVa Caps Advanced Analytics Model (NCAAM). If you’d like to learn more about the statistical terms used in this post, please check out our NHL Analytics Glossary]


Alexander Suzdalev pulled-off the prospect trick-shot goal of the season so far on Saturday night. We’ve seen him pull ot off before in Europe and in practice, but this is the first time he’s succeed in North America. It was the WHL highlight of the night.

Suzdalev discussed the impressive shot with Regina media following the game on Saturday night

Regina head coach John Paddock was asked about the goal following the game. He said “he can do that. He can lift you out of your seat”.

Connor McMichael scored his 8th goal since returning to the Hershey Bears. The goal came in the second period of Saturday night’s tilt with the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Hendrix Lapierre scored his 10th of the season, also on Saturday night against the Thunderbirds.

Joe Snively has hit the ground running since being sent down to Hershey. He has goals in each of his first two games with the Bears.

Ryan Hofer has played two games for the Kamloops Blazers since being traded from Everett last week and already has three goals for the Blazers.

Overall, Hofer has 26 goals and 13 assists in 38 games played so far this season, He will be a nice addition in Hershey next fall.


Happy “The Goal”-iversary to all. Jan.16, 2006: Rookie Alex Ovechkin scored ‘The Goal’ as the Capitals beat the Phoenix Coyotes, 6-1.

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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12 Responses to Lars Eller Looks To Be Healthy Scratch, More Line Changes For Islanders Tonight: Notes From Capitals Morning Skate In New York

  1. hockeydruid says:

    These lines are good! Wonder what happened to get Mantha on the 2nd line? Would prefer to sit Mantha and move each LW up one line and insert NAK on the 4th line. Truly think that is at this point the strongest lines Wash can put on the ice.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Suzdalev makes me chuckle, in a good way. He seems fairly care-free.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This lineup is getting close, for me.

  4. dwgie26 says:

    Yep… this checks some important boxes. Puts Backstrom and Wilson on third line with some speed (Milano) on the left. Strome back to 1C with OV and Sheary. Would still prefer to see Alexyev in the lineup. Big game tonight! Really need two points!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I gotta think Eller and/or Mantha are gone before trade deadline.

  6. Mark Eiben says:

    Me likey…Unless next game HCPL scratches Milano…wouldn’t that be somethin’…

  7. Anonymous says:

    I believe tomorrow’s rotating scratch will be the big teller.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Good point, once he’s done rolling through the few obvious scratches, what Laviolette does next will be very telling. I guess that could start after Minnesota Wild game tomorrow night.

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