Sonny Milano Out At Least A Week, More Line Changes: Notes From Capitals Morning Skate In Pittsburgh

The Capitals and Penguins conclude their three-game season series Saturday night in Pittsburgh. (8 p.m. on ABC and ESPN+). Washington is 1-1-0 versus Pittsburgh this season and have won three-straight games at PPG Paints Arena. The Capitals currently trail the Penguins by four points in the battle for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.


Sonny Milano did not make the trip to Pittsburgh. He’s out a week with an upper body injury, possibly longer, per team. Milano took a big hit from Connor Murphy on Thursday, but finished the game.

No lines were reported at the Capitals morning skate. The Capitals projected lines for Saturday night courtesy of

Alex OvechkinDylan StromeTom Wilson
Aliaksei ProtasNicklas BackstromT.J. Oshie
Anthony ManthaEvgeny KuznetsovCraig Smith
Nicolas Aube-KubelNic DowdConor Sheary

Martin FehervaryJohn Carlson
Rasmus SandinNick Jensen
Alexander AlexeyevTrevor van Riemsdyk

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: Matt Irwin


Today’s stat of the day plots the Capitals special teams index (power play percentage plus penalty kill percentage) since mid-November. [Click to enlarge]

The index has been on a relatively steady rise since the middle of February, and currently sits at a season high of 104.9. The Capitals now have the 14th-best power play and the 5th-best penalty kill in the league.


Connor McMichael recorded his 15th goal of the season Friday night against the Amerks. It was his third goal in the last four games. McMichael now has points in six straight and eight of his last nine games.

Joe Snively almost pulled off the shot of the game against the Amerks last night. The between-the-legs shot attempt came on the end of a nice feed from Connor McMichael.

Mitchell Gibson and Harvard fell to Ohio State, 8-1 in the first round of the 2023 NCAA men’s hockey tournament on Friday, thus ending their 2022-23 season. Gibson stopped 15 of 22 shots faced before being relieved. Gibson, a graduating senior, has yet to sign with the Capitals, and could sign or become an unrestricted free agent in the days ahead.

Chase Clark and Quinnipiac advanced to the second round on Friday with a 3-0 win over Merrimack.

On Friday night Bears head coach Todd Nelson said Vinny Iorio (upper body injury) and Lucas Johansen (upper body injury) are “probably a day away” from returning. They are on the road trip and could go tonight at Syracuse.


  • Arizona Coyotes minority owner, Andrew Barroway arrested in Aspen. [Aspen Daily News]

  • ESPN Films Announces 30 for 30 Documentary “I’m Just Here for the Riot” on 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot. [ESPN]

  • 2023 Men’s Frozen Four: Bracket, scores, schedule for the college hockey championship. [NCAA]

  • And finally, “The Hockey Guy” discusses Olaf Kolzig:

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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22 Responses to Sonny Milano Out At Least A Week, More Line Changes: Notes From Capitals Morning Skate In Pittsburgh

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    The hits just keep on coming, as in getting hit with injuries.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Should bring back Snively but I know they won’t

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I’m on board with this ☝️

      • novafyre says:

        Bears have a better chance to win their Cup. Keep him in Hershey where he can do the most good.

        Seriously. I know that most Caps fans are going to prioritize the Caps, and come October I’ll agree. But right now I want the Caps organization to do the most it can to support the two teams with the best chance of actually getting to their playoffs and going all the way in them. The Caps this year are toast. Bringing prospects up under Lavi is not going to help them or the Caps. Especially if Lavi is not HC next year. Let’s focus on winning the Calder and Kelly Cups.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caps don’t have Salay Cap space.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Now or never!

  4. GRin430 says:

    Don’t know if anybody else watched that Harvard debacle, but they just got run over by Ohio State. Harvard looked like a peewee team playing against an NHL team at times. Gibson was not great — at least 2 of the goals against were very soft, but he also kept Harvard in the game in the first period before things completely fell apart.

    I don’t know where/if Gibson fits in the Caps’ plans. He is a solid technician (at least until yesterday) with good quickness but he’s not the prototypical large goalie that modern NHL teams are looking for. He’s not likely a future savior in net but I’d still like to see them sign him.

    The other Caps prospect who is actually playing in the tournament (Clark is VERY unlikely to play, and if he does it is bad news for Quinnipiac) is Chesley. Chesley played pretty poorly in his first round game, though his team won in another Big-10 blowout. He had multiple turnovers in his own zone leading to at least one of the 2 goals against. It seemed like his stick was made out of foam, since he would seem to be trying to put some mustard on his passes, but they would just dribble or float away from him. I know he was out for a while with an arm or wrist or hand injury… I’m wondering if that is causing lingering issues. In any case, Minnesota plays again today, and here’s hoping he’s better.

  5. Jon Sorensen says:

    • novafyre says:

      Hathaway not impressing me today. Boston started the game with 5 straight power plays, some of which left me baffled.

      Boston is Tampa’s Pits.

      Tampa once again is beating themselves. Bad refs not withstanding, they are committing error after error. Boston is not doing anything great or they would have more than 2 going into the third. But Tampa keeps trying to give the game away.

      I see we get the ESPN announcers again tonight. Know who they are going to be for. I guess it’s John Walton and Caps 24/7 again.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        He scored a goal, Fyre.

        • novafyre says:

          You’re right. Not just a goal but the Game Winning Goal. Earned him the Second Star (Orlov was third). I’m not a fan of fighting and was disappointed in the way the game started and Garnet was in the thick of it. So I started out soured on him. Soured on a bunch of Bolts as well. But yeah, getting second star does void my comment.

  6. Jon Sorensen says:

  7. Anonymous says:

    I would sit out Smith and AUK and bring up Frank and CMM or Becks…

    • hockeydruid says:

      At this point I would not mess with Hersheys roster and let them go as deep into the playoffs as they can. Those guys deserve it and let them have it especially as they have a better chance of winning a playoff series than the Caps and a much better chance of willing the Cup than the Caps do. Sad but hockey isnt like baseball where you get to bring up a bunch of young players to reward them for their season and give them a taste of the show.

      • novafyre says:

        Yes. We should be concentrating on winning the Calder Cup and Kelly Cup. Reward our AHL and ECHL players with a good playoff run. Bears and Stingrays have very good chances. I would think that pushing our farm teams would help signings.

        Then, over the summer, revamp the coaching staff and come preseason, give everyone a fighting chance.

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