Alex Ovechkin Takes Maintenance Day, Sonny Milano Misses Practice, Craig Smith Leaves Practice Early: Notes From Capitals Monday Practice

The Washington Capitals had the day off on Sunday following their 4-3 loss to the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Saturday. They next host the New York Islanders Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM.


Alex Ovechkin did not participate in practice today. It was a maintenance day, per Capitals.

Sonny Milano (upper body) did not participate in Capitals practice today, as expected. The Capitals announced on Saturday that Milano would miss at least a week with an upper body injury. Laviolette said Sonny Milano (upper body) is progressing and feeling better, but did not skate today. Capitals said Saturday that Milano will be out at least a week, possibly more.

Craig Smith left Capitals practice after about 10 minutes after not playing in third period Saturday. He played a total of 4:54 against the Penguins. Laviolette said Smith has a lower-body injury.

The Capitals will take their official 2022-23 team photo Tuesday, April 4, at approximately 10:45 a.m. at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va. The team will practice at 11 a.m..


Alex Ovechkin scored his 42nd goal of the season on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, extending his goal streak to four games (5g) and his point streak to six games (6g-4a–10p). Ovechkin’s current goal streak is his third four-game goal streak of the season and his point streak is one game shy of matching the longest by a Capital this season (Evgeny Kuznetsov: 12/22/22–1/5/23: 2g-9a–11p; Erik Gustafsson: 12/7/22–12/31/22: 6g-7a–13p).

Ovechkin, who missed Washington’s game on March 14 against the New York Rangers, has recorded at least one point in his last seven games played dating back to March 11 (7g-5a–11p). [MORE HERE]


Today’s stat of the day looks at the expected goals differential (xGF -xGA) for each of the Capitals skaters at five-on-five. [Click to enlarge].

[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]


Ivan Miroshnichenko scored in his second consecutive postseason game on Sunday. Miroshnichenko now has a two goals and five assists in his first five postseason games. He has started all postseason games at left wing on the second line for Omskie Yastreby. [MORE HERE]

Garrett Pilon scored his 8th goal of the season Sunday night against the Phantoms.

Ryan Chesley and the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Chase Clark and the Quinnipiac Bobcats have advanced to the Frozen Four in Tampa. Minnesota faces Boston University at 5:00 PM on Thursday and Quinnipiac faces Michigan at 8:30PM on Thursday.


  • Who are the top candidates for NHL coach, GM jobs? [ESPN]
  • Vrana, Kapanen, Blais in prove-it mode for rebuilding Blues [AP]
  • NHL Players Gift Alex Ovechkin a piece of history to celebrate his achievements [NHLPA]
  • Each team’s best hope to win an individual award [the Score]
  • Best NHL announcers and analysts of all time. [Yardbarker]

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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10 Responses to Alex Ovechkin Takes Maintenance Day, Sonny Milano Misses Practice, Craig Smith Leaves Practice Early: Notes From Capitals Monday Practice

  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting article linked from ESPN about potential coaches and GMs. Not sure why Brunette wasn’t given the FLA job permanently after the results they had with him in the interim role.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Stat of the day really shows a player re-signed to a good contract for great on ice results (even if the coach scratched him for no reason) and a player who has all the tools but is lazy at times or does too much then pouts and asks for trade yet craters his value
    Plus both players have moved up and down the lineup with individually similar results

    • dwgie26 says:

      Similarly shows that Mantha has silent value and productivity despite not looking good. Caps fans are too critical of what his value would be in a trade. And it is time to trade him and we’ll get much more than a 7th round pick. Gotta get that done in the offseason.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been so impressed with Dylan Strome. You can tell how hard he’s working and trying to improve. There is so much pressure that comes with playing on a line with Ovi and Tom and he’s really grown into that role. Sonny Milano works hard every shift too. Lots of things went wrong this season, but these two signings were definite bright spots. (Gus was great too while he was here, but I’m glad we got Sandin going forward.)

    • dwgie26 says:

      Good summary. Strome and Milano both nice pickups. Even NAK is good value. Alexyev starting to show promise. Lots to be excited for next year and that begins in the offseason. We have a lot of work to do.

  4. Jon Sorensen says:

    No, for frame of reference for defensemen.

  5. Anonymous says:

    For me, I would sitting Smith and Mantha and even CS to bring up farm hands like Becks, Frank, CMM… Nice to see GMBM experiment of drafting injured Jr like AA and HL.. its working out… I would also look at resigning Connor Brown for the 4th line next yr

  6. novafyre says:

    In looking at league scores friends and I have remarked at the high number of goals being scored. It’s been an offensive feast where even the losing team has scored an insane number. TSN Canada has an article confirming this: Goaltending has cratered across the NHL in March

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