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Capitals Notebook: Lines Change After Brutal Loss In TB; Orlov Update



Washington Capitals

After arguably their worst performance of the 2022-23 campaign, the Washington Capitals got back on the ice for a Monday practice and changed some things up.

Sonny Milano has been promoted to the top line to skate with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin, per The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell. The trio had gotten some time together in Friday’s dominant win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at home. However, they were separated for Sunday’s 6-3 loss. Conor Sheary was the top-line RW, while Milano worked with Dylan Strome and Marcus Johansson on the second line. Over this last stretch, Ovechkin and Milano have also gotten time skating together with Strome.

The change comes after a brutal showing in Tampa that saw the Capitals go without a shot on goal through the first 17:10 minutes of the opening period. The team did get three goals in the second half, but otherwise, things looked disjointed on the forecheck. Passes weren’t clicking, and there wasn’t any sustained pressure or extended zone time while Washington was also outshot. Over the last few games, the Capitals have been struggling to generate a lot at 5-on-5, and perhaps shaking things up on the top-6 will ignite a change.

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Not only that, but the power play has also taken a nosedive. Washington’s man advantage had gotten much better after a lackluster start and rocketed up to ninth-best in the league. However, over the last three games, the PP has looked disjointed, disorganized and deflated. There’s not a lot of energy and momentum there. The unit went 0-for-6 against the Bolts and couldn’t capitalize on the numerous opportunities to get back in the game. So, expect that to change as well.

In other news, the Capitals didn’t see Dmitry Orlov at practice. Per Pell, he did not skate and remains on the IR with a lower-body injury. It’s not the greatest news, as the team has been without him for four straight games now.

Washington faces the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

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