The Washington Capitals picked up a scrappy 3-0 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night. That scrappiness was perhaps most personified by a big shot block from forward Matthew Phillips late in the third period.
When the team took to the ice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday for practice, Phillips did not skate with the rest of his teammates.
After the skate, head coach Spencer Carbery informed the media that Phillips’ practice absence was indeed due to the shot block. Luckily, the shifty winger seems to have dodged any sort of long-term injury as Carbery referred to his day off as just a maintenance day.
Phillips played 13:52 of total ice time in the game after being promoted into the top-six forward group, skating on a line with Sonny Milano and Dylan Strome. The 25-year-old rookie has four points (1g, 3a) in 14 games for the Capitals in his first season in DC.
Postgame after the win against Vegas, Carbery made sure to highlight Phillips’ defensive efforts during a celebratory locker room speech.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 15, 2023
“And also, someone’s fighting his ass off for us all night to get a shutout,” Carbery said. [Number] 45 blocks a f#$%ing shot.”
Phillips could be seen smiling ear-to-ear as he heard the praise. Tom Wilson then patted him hard on the left shoulder as Nicolas Aube-Kubel literally picked up and showed off Phillips’ left leg, which he used to block the shot.
The Capitals have a planned day off on Thursday and then will get back onto the ice for practice on Friday.
“We’ll be full go so we’ll have a real good indication of who will be ready to go for Saturday,” Cabery said.
Saturday’s game will be at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Capitals are currently carrying 13 forwards and have Anthony Mantha preparing to make his return from injury if Phillips has to miss any time past Wednesday.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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