Capitals Game Day
Capitals vs. Wild: Ovechkin & Injury Updates, Lines, Playoff Implications
The Washington Capitals could be without several key names as they continue the playoff push against the Minnesota Wild. Here’s everything to know before puck drop.
The Washington Capitals have another big two points on the line on Sunday as they face off against the Minnesota Wild, and they could be without quite a few big names as they continue their playoff push.
Here is everything to know before puck drop.
Ovechkin, Jensen & Kuemper Injury Updates
The Capitals appear to have avoided a major absence, as Alex Ovechkin is taking warmups in Minnesota after being listed as a game-time decision and appears to be ready to go.
Ovechkin took a maintenance day on Saturday and did not practice, and he also missed Tuesday's game against the New York Rangers with a lower-body ailment after taking a maintenance day on Monday. Ovechkin has missed six games this season, with two of those being due to a lower-body ailment. Washington has lost all of those games and the last nine overall without the captain in the mix.
However, there are still other key absences to deal with, as the team is without Darcy Kuemper and Nick Jensen due to upper-body ailments. Jensen left Wednesday's game against the Buffalo Sabres in the third period with the injury and did not play on Friday or practice on Saturday. He is listed as day-to-day.
Meanwhile, Kuemper left just minutes into Saturday's practice with an injury before the team took off for Minnesota. Kuemper will not dress on Sunday and is day-to-day with an upper-body ailment. Washington recalled goaltender Zach Fucale from the AHL's Hershey Bears on Sunday.
Capitals vs. Wild: Lines
With Ovechkin in, Anthony Mantha is a healthy scratch as Aliaksei Protas keeps his spot in the lineup working with the likes of Nic Dowd and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Nick Jensen will miss his second consecutive game.
Alex Ovechkin-Dylan Strome-Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano-Nicklas Backstrom-Craig Smith
T.J. Oshie-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson
Aliaksei Protas-Nic Dowd-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Rasmus Sandin-Trevor van Riemsdyk
Alex Alexeyev-Martin Fehervary
Matt Irwin-Gabriel Carlsson
Charlie Lindgren will start Fucale serving as the backup. Kuemper is not dressing due to injury.
Capitals vs. Wild: Playoff Implications
Washington remains five points out of playoff position, with the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins holding onto the first Wild Card with 78 points. However, Pittsburgh has a game in hand, as the Capitals have hit the 70-point mark. It's an even harder climb now, too, as the New York Islanders won on Saturday and sit seven points in front of D.C. at 80 points, and all the while, the Florida Panthers have heated up and sit just one point back from the Penguins. The Buffalo Sabres are also in action against the Boston Bruins, and they could leapfrog Washington in the standings and pull closer to the postseason with a win and Capitals' regulation loss.
Additional Ice Chips
– Ovechkin has points in three straight games.
– Dylan Strome has points in six of his last seven outings.
– Rasmus Sandin has 10 points through his first seven games in D.C.
– T.J. Oshie has points in four of his last five.