The Washington Capitals struggled to get much going offensively against the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road and as a result, mixed things up in their forward lines at practice on Monday.
Sonny Milano has been bumped up the top line ahead of the Capitals’ game against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Tuesday.
Milano skated with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov on the team’s first line at Monday’s practice, according to the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell. With that change, we can expect the full forward lines to look something like this against Florida.
Milano has experience playing with a team’s top trio as he skated alongside Trevor Zegras in Anaheim for the majority of last season. In five games with the Caps, the talented winger has already tallied four points including two goals. It looks like he will be the next to try and step into Tom Wilson’s shoes as the wing opposite Ovechkin.
The move will likely shift Conor Sheary back to his more natural left side. The Caps deployed him there on two separate lines during their blowout loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Sheary did end up scoring a goal in the game which gave him six total on the season. He trails only Ovechkin (8) for the team lead in that category.
Pell also reports that Dmitry Orlov did not skate at the practice. That is a step back for the Russian blueliner as, before the road trip commenced, he was on the ice with the team for multiple days in a row as he recovered from a lower-body injury suffered on November 5.
If Orlov cannot go on Tuesday, Matt Irwin will play his ninth game of the season. By this time last season, Irwin had yet to play a single minute and nine games for him would be more than halfway to his whole season total of games (17) from the 2021-22 campaign.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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