The Washington Capitals held their gameday skate at 10:30AM Tuesday morning at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. They begin a three-game homestand tonight when they host the Detroit Red Wings at Capital One Arena, with puck drop set for 7:00 PM.
The Capitals didn’t conduct typical gameday line rushes Tuesday morning. For what it’s worth, the forward lines and defensive pairs at yesterday’s practice:
Conor Sheary — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson
Anthony Mantha — Dylan Strome — T.J. Oshie
Sonny Milano/Lars Eller — Nicklas Backstrom — Marcus Johansson
Nicolas Aube-Kubel/Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway
Dmitry Orlov — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson – Dylan McIlrath
Extras: Alexander Alexeyev, Matt Irwin
Darcy Kuemper was the first goalie off the ice this morning, indicating he’ll likely get the start tonight vs. Detroit.
Nic Dowd will be a game-time decision tonight vs. Red Wings, per Capitals. A player will have to be sent down in order to activate Dowd from IR. Aliaksei Protas is waivers-exempt, and the easiest move to make for the team.
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said that if Dowd plays, Lars Eller will shift to the wing tonight.
Head coach Peter Laviolette talks facing an improved Detroit side as of late, Nic Dowd as a “game-time decision” and more ahead of tonight’s contest. #CapsWings | @SociosUSA pic.twitter.com/PFLReMKgt9
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 21, 2023
Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Aliaksei Protas, Matt Irwin and Alex Alexeyev took the Capitals extras skate with backup netminder Charlie Lindgren after morning skate, indicating they will likely be the scratches tonight.
The Capitals did work on the power play this morning. It looks like T.J. Oshie will play in the Ovechkin spot, with Tom Wilson in Oshie’s typical bumper spot, at least for the first power play tonight.
Capitals didn’t do line rushes and D pairs at their morning skate today.
For second day in a row, first PP has Oshie in the Ovechkin spot and Wilson in the diamond spot.
PP1: Gustafsson, Oshie, Wilson, Backstrom, Kuznetsov.
PP2: Orlov, Strome, Sheary, Mantha, Johansson
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) February 21, 2023
The Capitals host the Detroit Red Wings tonight at Capital One Arena for the third and final meeting between the teams this season. The Capitals have earned at least one point in sixteen of their last 17 games versus the Red Wings (13-1-3) dating back to Nov. 18, 2015, including an active nine-game point streak at home (7-0-2). [More here.]
STAT OF THE DAY – EXPECTED GOALS DIFFERENTIAL
Today’s ‘stat of the day’ plots the Capitals expected goals differential for all 58 games played so far this season. [Click to enlarge].
The Capitals have had a positive differential in 31 of the 58 games played so far this season (53.4%). 10 of the 31 positive differentials have come in 2023 (19 games total). Five of the 10 worst differentials have come in 2023.
[The statistics used in this post are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick, MoneyPuck 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]
Dmitry Orlov is expected to play in his 686th career game tonight versus the Detroit Red Wings, which will move him past Kevin Hatcher (685) for the fourth-most games played by a defenseman in franchise history. Earlier this season against Detroit, Orlov passed Sergei Gonchar (654) for the fifth-most games played by a defenseman in franchise history. [More here.]
I think Eller and Protas will be the scratches, but it should be Eller and Mantha.
It sure should be. What the hell does Mantha have on Lavi?!🤨
Compromising photos? 😂
Nona its not what he has but what you are trying to show other teams if you want to trade him. He cannot be a scratch every night and expect teams to want him and his salary and give you anything in return.. Its a damn if you do and damn if you dont situation.
I guess Protas will need to make one more return trip to Hershey before trade deadline.
If the Caps can find anyone to take Mantha or Eller. Maybe both in the same trade for a 3rd and a 4th and a bag of water bottles! Then, sorry folks but the time has come, sit Backy and play Protas at the 3rd line C where he belongs!
Agree. I think it’s a matter of time before a trade occurs. Mac probably holding out for the best deal.
They are working real hard to keep Eller in the lineup.
Similar to Mantha in that you have to play them to be able to trade them as someone has to like what they see them doing on the ice not in the rafters eating nachos or for tonight King Cake!!
Hopefully Lavi looks at numbers….rather than the blender.