On Friday, the Capitals will take on the Carolina Hurricanes at Capital One Arena for their sixth preseason game. The Capitals are coming off their first victory of the new season, a 4-0 shutout over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.
Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly will return for his first pre-season game. Smith-Pelly will play on the third line with Lars Eller and Andre Burakovsky. The speculation surrounding Smith-Pelly’s game absence has been cryptic, and many believe that it is conditioning related.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 28, 2018
The top two forward lines are the same as the Stanley Cup-winning roster. Tonight will be the first look at the second line of Nicklas Backstrom, TJ Oshie, and Jakub Vrana, as they look to find their form before opening night.
On the defensive side, Jonas Siegenthaler slots in next to John Carlson on the first pairing as Michal Kempy sits due to his upper-body injury.
Siegenthaler impressed against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. Todd Reirden gave him high praise in saying, “best game I’ve seen him play and that includes watching games in Hershey.” Dimitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen reunite, and the two defensemen will look to recreate their shutdown tendencies from last season.
Braden Holtby will start in goal, likely playing the full-game after Phoenix Copley’s 42-save shutout against the Blues.
The Hurricanes come into the game undefeated in their previous four preseason games, outscoring their opponents 19-4 in their wins. Thursday, the team released a special edition jersey in honor of the Hartford Whalers.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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