On Saturday night in Pittsburgh, the season series between the Caps and Penguins will come to a close. Tonight at 8 on ABC and ESPN+. Washington has a 1-1-0 record against Pittsburgh this season and a 3-0 record at PPG Paints Arena. In the race for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot, the Caps are now four points behind the Penguins.
No, Sonny Milano did not accompany us to Steel City. His upper-body ailment will keep him out for at least a week and maybe more. On Thursday, Connor Murphy delivered a vicious blow to Milano, but he was able to continue playing.
The morning skate for the Caps reportedly had no lines.The Capitals projected lines for Saturday night courtesy of NHL.com:
Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Tom Wilson
Aliaksei Protas — Nicklas Backstrom — T.J. Oshie
Anthony Mantha — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Craig Smith
Nicolas Aube-Kubel — Nic Dowd — Conor Sheary
Martin Fehervary — John Carlson
Rasmus Sandin — Nick Jensen
Alexander Alexeyev — Trevor van Riemsdyk
Scratched: Matt Irwin
STAT OF THE DAY
Since mid-November, the special team’s index for the Caps (power play percentage plus penalty kill percentage) has been shown as today’s stat of the day. For a larger view,
Since around midway through the month of February, the index has been steadily climbing and is now at a season-high of 104.9. The Caps’ power play is presently ranked 14th in the NHL, while their penalty kill is fifth.
DOWN ON THE FARM
The Amerks were the victims of Connor McMichael’s 15th goal of the season on Friday night. His tally was the third in as many games. McMichael has scored in eight of his previous nine games, including the last six.
Last night against the Amerks, Joe Snively came close to making the game-winning shot. Connor McMichael provided a great pass that led to the between-the-legs shot attempt.
Mitchell Gibson and Harvard’s 2022–23 season came to an end on Friday after an 8–1 loss to Ohio State in the first round of the 2023 NCAA men’s hockey championship. Before being taken off, Gibson had turned away 15 of 22 shots. Gibson, a senior who is about to graduate, has not yet signed with the Caps and is thus a free agent.
On Friday, Chase Clark and Quinnipiac beat Merrimack 3-0 to go on to the second round.
Bears head coach Todd Nelson revealed on Friday night that Vinny Iorio and Lucas Johansen are “probably a day away” from returning from their respective upper-body injuries. They are now on the road, and their next stop may be Syracuse tonight.