As the Washington Capitals prepare to return to action on Wednesday against the Nashville Predators, they saw another upcoming game postponed and made one more roster move.
Washington will not take on the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Jan. 4 due to current attendance restrictions in Canada amid COVID-19. It marks the fourth Capitals game this season that has been postponed due to COVID-19. Washington’s last three games against Philly, New York and Ottawa were also called off due to the virus.
Meanwhile, the Capitals made another roster move, placing forward Mike Sgarbossa on waivers. He has been skating as an extra over the last couple of skates. He has two goals and an assist in seven games for Washington this season and also picked up 14 points in 15 games with Hershey this year. If he clears, expect him to be re-assigned to the taxi squad or Bears.
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As of right now, it looks like the Capitals are on for Wednesday against the Preds, marking their first game since a 3-2 loss to the L.A. Kings on Dec. 19. It also marks head coach Peter Laviolette’s first time facing Nashville since he left the team for Washington.
“I know the guys and had a lot of time spent there. There’s things we were able to do that were positive and successful with a lot of that group,” Laviolette said of facing Nashville. “It’s been two years, so it kind of slipped by with that regard.”
The Capitals currently have Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Daniel Sprong, Justin Schultz, Nick Jensen, Martin Fehervary, Dennis Cholowski and Vitek Vanecek on COVID-19 protocol. Backstrom and Kuznetsov have been practicing and are expected to return Wednesday. However, they are technically still on protocol until they play. Oshie has yet to return to practice.
Given the team’s COVID-19 situation, it looks like Michal Kempny will make his Capitals season debut on Wednesday and play in an NHL regular-season game for the first time since March 2020. Alex Alexeyev is also likely to make his NHL debut against Nashville. If he does play, he will be the seventh rookie to play in his first NHL game for Washington this season.