The final morning skate of the regular season has wrapped up in Arlington, Virginia. With the Caps’ Metro Division championship and playoff spot locked up, the team appears likely to rest a few key players for Saturday night’s finale against the New York Islanders.
Per Isabelle Khurshdyan’s tweet from the morning skate, the Caps’ lineup may look like this:
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Wilson
Hagelin – Eller – Connolly
Vrana – Boyd – Jaskin
Burakovsky – Dowd – Stephenson
Orlov – Niskanen
Siegenthaler – Jensen
Orpik – Djoos
Likely Norris finalist John Carlson will end his season with a career-high 70 points in 80 games. Center Nicklas Backstrom will miss his second game of the season after scoring 22 goals and 52 assists. TJ Oshie‘s return-to-form season ends nicely after 69 games, 25 goals, and 29 assists. Goalie Braden Holtby will also rest.
Alex Ovechkin is expected to play. He leads Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl in the Rocket Richard race by two goals, 51 to 49. (Edmonton plays Calgary tonight.)
Though the Caps called up Nathan Walker from Hershey yesterday, he does not appear to be in the lineup for the game. Walker has two points in his last four NHL games, including the primary assist in the final game of the Pittsburgh series last year.
We believe these lineup decisions are based on resting before the playoffs. We do not expect any injury disclosures from the team today, but we will know for sure later.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
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