The Washington Capitals will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins inside Capital One Arena on Wednesday night after snapping their losing streak with an exciting 5-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. The team’s roster remains in flux due to the rash of absences it has seen due to injuries to several key players.
While the forward group remains somewhat constant, the team’s defense pairings are shifting around yet again. Defenseman Alex Alexeyev, recalled from his AHL conditioning loan, is the most recent beneficiary of that as he will make his season debut against the Pens.
Here is how the team fully lined up via NBC Sports Washington’s Matt Weyrich.
While both John Carlson and Dmitry Orlov were able to finish the skate as active participants in regular jerseys, head coach Peter Laviolette told the Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir that neither will play against the Pens. Carlson will miss his sixth-straight game and Orlov his second.
Stepping in will be Alexeyev who made his Capitals debut last season. The 2018 first-round draft selection was loaned to Hershey in late October as he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. He played in four games for the Bears and tallied one assist. A corresponding move from the Caps will need to be made to fit Alexeyev on the 23-man roster as he is still on the long-term injured reserve on paper.
“Just getting him playing,” Laviolette said Wednesday. “He’s back, he’s healthy. He played some games down in Hershey and he’s back here with us now so we want to get a look at him.”
It should be noted that with Carlson and Orlov clearly nearing returns, the Capitals have nine defensemen on their roster. Lucas Johansen was the odd man out at the skate and could be who is deemed to be headed back to the AHL. He will not require waivers as he has not played in ten or more cumulative NHL Games since being initially waived by the Caps in early October out of Training Camp.
The Caps’ forward group is the exact same as the one that took down the Oilers on Monday. Notably, Sonny Milano remains in the top six, Nicolas Aube-Kubel will get his second game with the team on the third line, and Aliaksei Protas sticks with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway on the big checking line.
pens prep pic.twitter.com/IRDKDPoE63
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 9, 2022
Getting the start in net will be Darcy Kuemper, according to El-Bashir. Kuemper returns to the cage after being the goaltender of record in three of the team’s four losses during their recent losing streak. He holds a 4-5-1 record this season with a 2.42 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.
The Pens come into Wednesday night’s action losers of seven games in a row. The drought is the longest losing streak of the Mike Sullivan era, surpassing a six-game losing streak in February 2020. Before this, Sidney Crosby’s 2005-06 rookie season is the last time Pittsburgh lost seven straight.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.