Anthony Mantha Skates As Extra, Sonny Milano Returns, More Line Changes : Notes From Capitals Friday Morning Skate
The Washington Capitals had the day off on Thursday following their thrilling 5-4 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday night in the District. They next host the St. Louis Blues tonight at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 7PM.
Sonny Milano returned after missing the last two games with a non-Covid illness. Anthony Mantha and Nick Jensen skated as extras. The forward lines and defensive pairs at Capitals morning skate on Friday, courtesy of Tom Gulitti/NHL.com:
Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Connor Sheary
T.J. Oshie — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano – Nicklas Backstrom – Craig Smith
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Rasmus Sandin — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Matt Irwin — Gabriel Carlsson
Alexander Alexeyev – Martin Fehervary
Extras: Anthony Mantha, Nick Jensen, John Carlson
Capitals Power Play Units:
PP1: Sandin, Ovechkin, Oshie, Backstrom, Strome
PP2: TvR, Smith, Wilson, Kuznetsov, Sheary
The Capitals will look to extend their home point streak to four games (2-0-1) tonight when they host the St. Louis Blues at Capital One Arena for the second and final meeting between the teams this season.
In their first meeting on Nov. 17 at Enterprise Center, the Capitals overcame deficits of 3-0 and 4-2 before falling to the Blues 5-4 in the shootout, despite recording a season-high 51 shots on goal. The Capitals have an all-time record of 11-4-1-0 on Saint Patrick’s Day, including a 6-4-1-0 record at home. [MORE HERE]
STAT OF THE DAY
Today’s stat of the day revisit’s the Capitals expected goals differential (xGF -xGA) through 69 games played so far this season. [Click to enlarge].
The Capitals reached a season-best season high on March 1, but since then have seen a major diminishing of their positive differential. There was a rebound in the last game against the Sabres, so we will see if that is a turning point or a one game variance.
DOWN ON THE FARM
Connor McMichael scored his 13th goal of the season for the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night. The goal was quintessential McMichael, working the crease and pouncing on a bouncing puck before anyone else could react.
Connor McMichael working hard in the dirty area, knocks home his 13th of the season. #ALLCAPS #HBH pic.twitter.com/U3Jj7yc0iI
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 15, 2023
Ryan Hofer, fresh off his new deal with the Capitals, notched his 39th goal of the season on Wednesday night. He has 39g, 26a in 60 games played so far this season.
HOF MAKES IT 10! pic.twitter.com/gIiHY8fETr
— Kamloops Blazers (@blazerhockey) March 16, 2023
Bears head coach Todd Nelson u-dated the status of several injured players on Wednesday. He said Vincent Iorio (upper body injury) will be out 7-10 days. Hendrix Lapierre (upper body injury) is still a week away from returning.
- Panthers blitz Canadiens for 7 goals in 1st, win 9-5 thriller. [ESPN]
- What to expect with Diamond Sports bankruptcy. [Sports Business Journal]
- New arena factor in Ottawa Senators sale discussions. [Arena Digest]
- And finally, Lars Eller dented the twine for the first time as a member of the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
Lars Eller on his first #avs goal: “Everybody was looking around. They were waiting for the whistle, but the whistle never came. So you just don’t quit on the play and then you see what happens.”pic.twitter.com/NvTjs8FUEJ
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) March 17, 2023