Capitals Notebook: Line Tweaks, Multiple Game-Time Decisions, Injury Updates
The Washington Capitals tweaked the lines and also await word on Evgeny Kuznetsov, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Nick Jensen, who are all questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals are facing the Columbus Blue Jackets in a must-win game where captain Alex Ovechkin will also be honored for passing Gordie Howe for second on the NHL's all-time goals list, and they'll have to wait and see if they'll be shorthanded.
Nick Jensen, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Trevor van Riemsdyk are all questionable for Tuesday's game. Jensen and Kuznetsov were both on the ice and took part in rushes, but they are dealing with upper-body injuries. Meanwhile, van Riemsdyk missed practice because he and his wife expecting their first child.
Head coach Peter Laviolette didn't have a sure answer on their availabilities.
"We're working through some things," he said.
Darcy Kuemper, who is also dealing with an upper-body injury, skated and could dress with Zach Fucale taking the scratches skate, but he will not start. Charlie Lindgren will be between the pipes.
John Carlson continues to make progress in his return from a fractured skull and severed temporal artery after taking a 90MPH slapshot to the face in December, but he will not play on Tuesday. There is potential he could return Thursday or at another point this week.
On the non-injury front, Anthony Mantha will be back in the mix as he returns from back-to-back healthy scratches. Mantha has just one goal so far in 2023. Aliaksei Protas was a scratch during rushes and could sit if Kuznetsov is not ready to go up front.
Here are the lines, which saw a tweak after Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild;
Alex Ovechkin-Dylan Strome-Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie
Anthony Mantha-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Craig Smith
Conor Sheary-Nic Dowd-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Rasmus Sandin-Nick Jensen
Martin Fehervary-Alex Alexeyev
Matt Irwin-Gabriel Carlsson