The Washington Capitals play their final preseason game tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Saturday’s contest is being labeled as a “dress rehearsal”. Washington won Thursday’s game in Columbus 4-2 and will try to end this final preseason game with another victory. Here are the news and notes from morning skate:
Capitals head coach Spencer Crbery said in his media availability that it will be the most “veteran heavy lineup” before the regular season, but there is still competition.
Morning skate was very brief and some key veteran players that will be in Saturday’s lineup did not skate, those being Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, T.J. Oshie, Rasmus Sandin, John Carlson, and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Defenseman Joel Edmundson was skating in a light blue, non-contact jersey. Edmundson fractured his hand in a scrimmage and will be out for four to six weeks, so he will not play tonight.
— KMack Sports (@KMackSports) October 7, 2023
One name that is not on the lineup card is Anthony Mantha. He did skate this morning, but it appears he will not suit up. Matthew Phillips will play in his fifth exhibition game and he continues to impress.
Martin Fehervary and Trevor van Riemsdyk will be given the night off according to Carbery, which gives Hardy Häman Aktell and Lucas Johansen one last chance to crack the opening night roster.
“[I’m] looking forward to tonight. It’s a good test. It’ll be our most ‘NHL veteran game’ that we’ve played thus far.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 7, 2023
Darcy Kuemper will make his second preseason appearance and will get the full game according to Carbery.
This morning, the Caps focused on defensive zone breakouts on transition and getting the puck quickly into the offensive zone and forcing odd-man rushes.
Tonight’s preseason game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Capital One Arena.
By Kevin McNelis and Jacob Cheris