ARLINGTON, V.A. — Washington Capitals hockey is back. The 2022-23 regular season kicks off on Wednesday as the Capitals play host to the Boston Bruins for opening night.
The 23-man roster is set, and the team has its first line combinations of the campaign ready to go. Aliaksei Protas, who had a standout training camp, not only won a roster spot but a top-6 role in the opening night lineup.
Meanwhile, this will mark Darcy Kuemper’s first official start in net. He played in three preseason games and looked sharp with some big saves and busy nights, and will now make his Washington debut.
“Super excited. Being on the other side of it, it’s a really tough rink to come in and play, because the crowd’s always so loud,” Kuemper said. “I’m really looking forward to being on the other side of that and having them cheer us on. It’ll be a lot of fun.”
Here are the lines at the team’s morning skate that will likely start against Boston:
Washington Capitals Line Combinations
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Connor Brown
Aliaksei Protas-Dylan Strome-Anthony Mantha
Marcus Johansson-Lars Eller-T.J. Oshie
Conor Sheary-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway
Martin Fehervary-John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson-Trevor van Riemsdyk
Connor McMichael and Joe Snively are the extra forwards to open the season. Matt Irwin will be the scratch on defense.
Washington Capitals Players To Watch
Keep an eye on the Dylan Strome. The 25-year-old had four points in four preseason games, was stellar in the face-off dot and has shown great speed and drive in the preseason. Coming in on a one-year deal and getting a fresh start, expect him to do some damage and look to start off on the right foot against Boston.
Also watch for Alex Ovechkin. He had two goals in his final two preseason games and is closing in on major goal-scoring milestones this season. Look for him to continue going.
The puck drops at Capital One Arena at 7 p.m. ET.