The Washington Capitals held their third straight day of practice on Thursday as they prepared to hit the road for two games in the Central Time Zone.
TJ Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom, who were previously missing due to non-COVID illnesses, and Dmitry Orlov, who missed Wednesday’s practice, were all on the ice, according to the Caps’ Mike Vogel.
Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson, and Carl Hagelin all took maintenance days, per the team.
The Caps will travel to St. Louis to take on the Blues Friday and then will be in Minnesota for a date with the Wild the night after.
Per The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell, Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette believes Orlov should be available to take on the Blues but was less sure about the statuses of Backstrom and Oshie, who may not even make the road trip.
Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, and Carlson were announced to be taking maintenance days at the start of practice. Approximately 20 minutes later, Hagelin was announced to be part of that group as well.
A friend of the blog told RMNB’s Ian Oland that Hagelin was seen rushing out of the facility in his street clothes as practice started. It’s unclear why. Ovechkin and Kuznetsov were at the facility while Carlson was not.
A friend of the blog tells RMNB that Carl Hagelin, who officially took a maintenance day today, was seen rushing out of MedStar Capitals Iceplex in his street clothes as practice began. 62's maintenance day was announced after 8, 74, and 92's.
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) January 6, 2022
Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, and Carlson also received maintenance days from Laviolette on New Year’s Day as the team tries to rest them when it can.
No reporters had line rushes from Thursday’s practice so here’s how the Capitals lined up yesterday, per Pell.
With Orlov back, the Russian defenseman will likely line up with Jensen and force TVR back to his normal pairing partner in Justin Schultz. If the Caps end up without Backstrom and Oshie on the trip, we could expect to see this forward grouping.
Thursday morning, the team also placed goaltender Hunter Shepard to their taxi squad choosing to leave Pheonix Copley and Zach Fucale in Hershey.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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