ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals kicked off their week of “mini-training camp” style practices with a handful of few roster changes and shuffles, as well as some welcome and unwelcome sights.
Nicklas Backstrom, Connor McMichael and T.J. Oshie did not skate due to non-COVID illnesses. Martin Fehervary also made his return to the ice and skated with the team for the first time since before the break. He went on the COVID-19 protocol on Dec. 24. All of Washington’s COVID-19 protocol players are back on the ice. However, Fehervary, Cholowski and Vanecek will remain on protocol until they play.
Aliaksei Protas also returned to the District after heading back down to Hershey prior to puck drop against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. Meanwhile, Washington re-assigned Mike Sgarbossa and Pheonix Copley to the Bears and re-assigned Alex Alexeyev and Lucas Johsen from the taxi squad to Hershey.
To open the 11 a.m. skate, the Capitals had a stacked blue line, with the usual pairings, Michal Kempny and Dennis Cholowski also on the backend. Matt Irwin moved to forward and skated on the fourth line as a placeholder. However, they saw adversity strike again, as Dmitry Orlov left the ice surface in apparent pain. Athletic trainer Jason Serbus accompanied No. 9 as he headed to the dressing room.
Kempny took his place on the second pairing with Nick Jensen, while also taking reps with Cholowski.
READ MORE ON WHN: Dowd, Hathaway Open Up About Friendship, Fatherhood and Capitals Journey
Here’s what the lines looked like on Tuesday:
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson
Conor Sheary-Lars Eller-Daniel Sprong
Carl Hagelin-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway
Matt Irwin-Aliaksei Protas-Brett Leason
Martin Fehervary-John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov/Michal Kempny-Nick Jensen
Trevor van Riemsdyk-Justin Schultz
Ilya Samsonov/Vitek Vanecek
Washington has a four-day layoff until Friday when they head to St. Louis to take on the Blues. Peter Laviolette and the team are utilizing the extra time to work on conditioning, systems and more.