The Caps return to Verizon Center for the first time in 2016 and after a long five-game away stint. They have won the last three of those games and are looking like they are on another great streak. Much of the credit for the team’s success, as they shift around injured and suspended players, is Coach Barry Trotz. He has brought a positive attitude as they face each game with a fresh desire to win, which at the half-way mark is working.
No news yet as to who the net minder will be or if John Carlson is back. We’ll let you know when we know.
Ovechkin 500 Watch
It seems the whole world is watching and waiting for Alex Ovechkin to hit his next bit milestone. No doubt Caps friends will be holding their breath at Verizon Center to see if he gets that 500th goal. Load up your pictures and graphics now!! And bring those signs to the game.
Zach Sill is clear to rejoin the team today.
Paul Carey, up from Hershey played his first game with the Caps on Saturday
Goalie to Goalie
Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (26). His 1.93 goals against average (GAA) is currently third in the league. Backing him up in the net is Philipp Grubauer.
When last the Caps met on December 16th, the Senators, Andrew Hammond was in the net and unfortunately for him, the Caps got the better of him and they lost 2-1. The Hamburgler has been out much of the season after he was sidelined during an injury he sustained during practice. He has 3 wins in 8 games and a .927 save percentage. Goalie Craig Anderson is 16 for 32 when in the net with a .916 percent save record.
The Sens fell prey to the unstoppable Panthers with a 3-2 loss on Thursday. They are 9-10-2 on the road which gives them half a chance of winning today. They come to DC straight from an overtime win in Boston.
Mike Hoffman is eighth in the league for overall goals (19). Keep an eye on right wing Bobby Ryan who just scored his 200th NHL goal. Defenseman Erik Karlsson has 43 points this season and leads the team as well as sits second in the league. There is a lot of buzz about him around the league; he had seven shots in the Boston game.
Injury Report and Team Scratches
Jay Beagle had hand surgery Sunday, according to the Washington Capitals and has been placed on the injured reserve list. Up to five more weeks before his return. He has missed five games.
Coach Trotz indicated in his press conference that Carlson and Oprik could begin skating at practice soon and the hope is that they will also be back in the game soon as well.
John Carlson is still day-to-day but could be activated to play at any time.
Brooks Orpik is on the Long-term Injured Reserve list for an undisclosed injury. He has missed 27 games and there is no timetable for his return.
Mike Richards while not an injury is not playing with the team yet. No date for his first game or if he will go to Hershey to get his feet moving again.
Marcus Johansson, who has been playing the third line center for the last several games, will sit out two games for an illegal head hit to New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey during the game on Thursday. He will be eligible to play January 14th against the Canucks at home.
More Milestones Coming:
Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 24 goals and is ONE away from 500 NHL career goals. He is fifth in the NHL.
Jason Chimera is four assists away from an NHL career 200 assists.
Braden Holtby, with 128 career games won is ONE win away from passing Don Beaupre (128) for second place on the Caps franchise list.
Michael Latta is two games away from a career 100 NHL/Capitals games played.
Sunday Morning Skate: 10:15 at Kettler Capitals IcePlex CANCELLED
Jan 12 Practice at Kettler at Capitals IcePlex 1030 am
Jan 13 Practice likely at Kettler Capitals IcePlex TBD
Jan 14 Preskate likely at 1015 at Kettler Capitals IcePlex
Jan 14 Vancouver at home 7 pm CSN SN360 and 106.7
Jan 15: Caps likely to have practice before departing for Buffalo
Photos by Brittney Marcum