Conor Sheary Returns To Top Line, Sonny Milano Moves Down To Third Line With Evgeny Kuznetsov: Notes From Capitals Tuesday Morning Skate In Columbus

The Washington Capitals held their gameday morning skate Tuesday morning at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Following tonight’s tilt against the Blue Jackets, the Capitals will be off until February 11 when they visit the Bruins in Boston. Here’s the latest from the Capitals universe:

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette made changes (once again) to the top three lines. Connor Sheary returned to the top line and T.J. Oshie moved down to the second line on the right side. Sonny Milano moved down to the third line with Evgeny Kuznetsov.

The Capitals forward lines and defensive pairs at morning skate, courtesy of Samantha Pell/Washington Post:

Alex Ovechkin – Dylan Strome – Connor Sheary
Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Sonny Milano – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Anthony Mantha
Nicolas Aube-Kubel – Lars Eller – Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson – Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Dmitry Orlov – Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin – Martin Fehervary

Charlie Lindgren
Darcy Kuemper

Extras: Alexander Alexeyev, Aliaksei Protas

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said that Charlie Lindgren will get the start in goal tonight against the Blue Jackets.

Injured: John Carlson (out indefinitely); Connor Brown (indefinite); Carl Hagelin (indefinite); Nic Dowd (indefinite); Tom Wilson (day-to-day).


The Capitals visit the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Nationwide Arena for the third of four meetings between the teams this season. Washington is 2-0-0 against Columbus this season, winning both games by a combined score of 7-2.

The Capitals are 30-13-1-5 all-time vs. Columbus and 6-1-0 in their last seven games against the Blue Jackets dating back to the 2019-20 season. [MORE HERE]


Today’s stat of the day revisits the Capitals shots for and shots against per game averages so far this season. The following graph plots the difference between the two averages (SF/GM-avg. – SA/GM-avg.) over the course of the season. [Click to enlarge].

While the Capitals continue to deal with injuries to key players (Tom Wilson, John Carlson  and Nic Dowd), the team’s average actually continues to improve, although it took a hit in the last game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

[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]


Connor McMichael and Garrett Pilon hooked-up for a sweet tally over the weekend. McMichael made a nice, long-distance cross-ice feed to Pilon who immediately hammered it home for the goal.

Shane Gersich scored his third goal of the season over the weekend. It was Gersich’s 100th career AHL point.

Bogdan Trineyev continued his scoring on Tuesday, providing the primary assist on this whacky goal.

Finally, happy 21st birthday to Capitals forward prospect Oskar Magnusson.


  • The NHL Network discusses the play of Capitals backup goaltender Charlie Lindgren:
  • And finally, Capitals players answer the question: “if I wasn’t a hockey player, I would be…”

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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9 Responses to Conor Sheary Returns To Top Line, Sonny Milano Moves Down To Third Line With Evgeny Kuznetsov: Notes From Capitals Tuesday Morning Skate In Columbus

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can Lindgren get a start for the love of God!

  2. Mark Eiben says:

    With the way the team is playing defense right now, does it matter?

  3. hockeydruid says:

    I understand that you play Mantha to showcase him in an effort to trade him. If this GM and HC are really trying to win games then sit Mantha and play Protas and see what the young player can do as he certainly cant do any worse than Mantha. Everyone is saying trade Mantha, me included, but is there really a market for him without tossing in draft picks?

  4. Brianna says:

    Happy 21 birthday Oskar

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