Caps-Sabres Pre-game, Practice photos, and Evander Kane (Updates in Red)
Photos by Brittney Marcum
The Capitals extended their winning streak to seven on Saturday night in Washington. After a tough practice at Kettler on Sunday they flew up to Buffalo to settle in before meeting the Sabres tonight. The Caps have won three of their last four games against the Sabres.
Things in Buffalo exploded late Sunday with news that left wing Evander Kane is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault. The team confirmed the allegations although no formal charges have been filed yet. As the investigation is in the early stages, it is likely that the team will be somewhat unsettled in the locker room. No word as we go to press, if Kane, who has eight goals and five assists in 25 games, will play tonight. It was reported this morning by multiple sources that Kane DID in fact participate in morning skate. (11 am) Kane issued a statement from the Sabres locker room saying he “has done nothing wrong.” As of now (12:30) he remains on the roster for tonight.
Line up appears to be the same. If Carlson is out (see below) Connor Carrick will step in.
The Caps are averaging 3.1 goals a game, second in the league.
Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 17 goals. He hasn’t lit the lamp in his last two games. He did take a puck to the forearm from Matt Niskanen but looked good skating on Sunday.
Nicklas Backstrom leads the team with 31 points and 21 assists.
John Carlson per Isabelle Khurshudyan (WashPost), did not skate at practice this morning. It is unclear if he will be in tonight. This would be his first game missed in over 400 games. He continues to rack up the assists and goals with 27 points this season. He is on track to reach or top his 2014 season high of 55 points. John took a maintenance day on Sunday and did not skate. Carlson is tied for fifth in the NHL in road assists (12) and Karl Alzner ranks tied for fifth in plus/minus (+11) on the road. (CapsToday)
Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (22) and goals against average (1.92) He is the only goalie in the league with 20 wins or more. Sabres’ goaltender Chad Johnson sits well below in 23rd place with 10 wins in 23 games.
Philip Grubauer in the seven games he has been in the net has four wins, two losses, and an OT loss. He should be strong in the net against the Sabres should Trotz give him the opportunity. A goalie has not been announced for tonight’s game at time of posting.
Brooks Laich and Andre Burkovsky haven’t scored a goal on the fourth line in a while, but along with Michael Latta they are shooting at every opportunity. Maybe they will break their goal drought tonight.
Alex Ovechkin is eight goals away from 500 NHL career goals.
Fight Potential: When it comes to major penalties for fighting, the Caps have 9 penalties compared to the Sabres’ six.
Practice Shots: Caps took practice at Kettler Iceplex on Saturday. Here are some great shots of the Trotz’ Smiling Boys.
Caps Practice at Kettler Ice Plex Tuesday 1230
Caps-Sabres at home. Game time 7pm on CSN-DC
Caps Morning Skate at Kettler Ice Plex Wednesday 1015
Caps-Hurricanes in Raleigh. Game time 7pm on CSN-DC