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Capitals Game Day: Ovechkin TBD, McMichael Fills In As Caps Prep For NYI



Capitals forward Connor McMichael

ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals are mostly sticking with what worked, but there could be a change to the top line as the team awaits word on captain Alex Ovechkin while preparing for Tuesday’s final home game against the New York Islanders.

Ovechkin did not take part in the team’s morning skate and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. His status for Tuesday is up in the air. However, the Great 8 will be honored prior to the team’s last home game of the season for passing Jaromir Jagr for third on the NHL’s all-time goals list back in March.

With Ovechkin potentially out, Washington chose to bring Connor McMichael back into the mix. He skated on the top line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson at the Capitals’ morning skate. Washington kept the rest of their lines intact.

“Connor’s played really well and I’m not going to take any of the centermen out of the¬†middle of the ice right now,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “Connor’s played a lot of left wing this year. I thought that the lines have been really good for 10 games now and they’ve been fairly consistent now that we’ve had a healthy lineup and we’ve been able to generate and produce and win hockey games and find success.”

Here are what the lines looked like at Tuesday’s skate:

Connor McMichael-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson

Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-Conor Sheary

Anthony Mantha-Lars Eller-T.J. Oshie

Johan Larsson-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Martin Fehervary-John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen

Trevor van Riemsdyk-Justin Schultz

Ilya Samsonov will get the start against the Islanders with Vitek Vanecek backing up.

READ MORE ON WHN: Scenes As Capitals Take Team Photo

When it comes to players to watch, keep an eye on Marcus Johansson, who has points in four of his last five games, along with Conor Sheary, who has points in back-to-back games and four points in his last four games. On the Islanders side of the matchup, look out for Mat Barzal, who has points in three of his last four games, and defenseman Noah Dobson, who has five points in his last four games.

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