On Saturday, the Capitals tweaked their lines at practice following their 7-6 overtime loss against the Penguins. Dmitrij Jaskin replaced Nathan Walker on the fourth line during practice rushes ahead of a possible debut on Wednesday against the Golden Nights at Capital One Arena.
The rest of the forward lines and defensive pairs remain unchanged.
Caps finally did line rushes:
Only 5 D practicing today. No Brooks Orpik.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) October 6, 2018
Much like last year, Nathan Walker has excelled early in the season, as the Capitals controlled 58.3 percent of shot attempts in Walker’s six minutes of five-on-five ice time. The fourth line of DSP, Nic Dowd, and Walker has impressed in the first two games of the season.
The main culprit of the Capitals’ 7-6 overtime loss to the Penguins was the team’s third line. Chandler Stephenson, in particular, had a rough game. The Penguins controlled 90 percent of shot attempts when Stephenson was on the ice at even strength. Andre Burakovsky and Lars Eller were not much better.
The Capitals, likely tired from their banner-raising home opener the night before, cratered in the last two periods against the Penguins. In the first period, the Capitals controlled over 60 percent of shot attempts. After that, the Penguins controlled over 60 percent of shot attempts for the rest of the game.
Jaskin will try and shore up the defensive issues in the bottom-six, but Reirden’s decision to break up the fourth line is interesting because of how well the Walker, Dowd, DSP combination has played.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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