The Washington Capitals won on Monday at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex for the first time after their embarrassing 4-1 defeat by the Carolina Hurricanes in a 2023 Stadium Series game.
Saturday’s ugly outing was exacerbated by the fact that it was the Capitals’ fourth straight loss in regulation, knocking the team out of a playoff spot.
As a result, caps boss Peter Laviolette He put his front lines and defense pairs into a blender for Monday’s practice.
The Washington Post’s Roman Stubbs I reported those changes. The new lineup is as follows.
Sherry Kuznetsov Wilson
Mantha Strom O’Shea
Eller / Milan Backstrom Johansson
NAK/Protas Dodd Hathaway
Sonny Milano, Lars Eller, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Matt Irwin all played in Saturday’s loss and are no longer guaranteed in the lineup for the team’s next game. Every single line and defensive pairing has also been changed.
Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson hold together on the team line de facto, but Conor Sheary is the new final piece of this trio. Sheary and Kuznetsov have played more than 200 minutes together in five-on-five this season and it was a completely unsuccessful match at least from a practical point of view. Caps saw only 47.9 percent of shot attempts, 45.5 percent of expected goals, 49.2 percent of scoring chances and 43.8 percent of high risk chances.
However, the Caps outscored opponents 13 to 7 over the same time frame. Mainly due to the fact that they shoot 12.2 percent in those minutes and get 93.1 percent on their saves.
The team’s second line is the only one that sticks together completely. Cherry’s move to the top row means Milan are now embroiled in a battle with Lars Eller for the left wing position in the third line. The winner will skate there with Swedish duo Niklas Backstrom and Markus Johansson. Milano recorded its 15th assist of the season on Wilson’s outdoor goal on Saturday. Per caps PRMilano, 23 points (8g, 15a) since November 5, is tied for fifth on the team.
The main positive news from practice is that Nic Dowd has finally stripped his non-contact jersey. Dowd has been in the mix in training for a full week now. He has regained his usual spot on the fourth line alongside good friend Garnet Hathaway. NAK or Aliaksei Protas will be the last factor in this line. Laviolette would be smart to go with Protas there.
With Brotas playing Dodd and Hathaway five-on-five this season, the team has 54.8 percent shot attempts, 63.3 percent expected goals, 57.9 percent scoring chances and 61 percent high-risk chances. .
Defensive pairs are not left out either. Each of them has been changed. Dmitry Orlov split from his longtime partner Nick Jensen as the two fought hard against Karolina. With Jensen on the ice at five-for-five in that game, the Caps were outed 24-7, the scoring went 15-to-2, the Great Danger went 9-0, and two scored.
Orlov is now skating to the first pairing with Trevor van Riemsdyk and Jensen with Martin Fairvary.
Erik Gustafsson is now back in the third pairing as he begins his first season with the Caps. He will line up next to Hershey’s recent call-up, for the third time this season, Dylan McElrath. McIlrath made his Capitals debut in last week’s 6-3 loss to the Florida Panthers. It was minus two in that match.
The Caps return to action Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings at Capital One Arena. Detroit is just two points off the Caps in the standings with three games in hand.
Banner photo: Alan Dobbins / RMNB
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