Capitals Notebook: Mantha Skates, Sheary & Kuznetsov Absent, Line Shakeups
The Washington Capitals got back to work with a Tuesday practice, which Conor Sheary and Evgeny Kuznetsov missed for different reasons.
After an off day following a rough end to the weekend in Buffalo, the Washington Capitals got back to work in Anaheim with a morning practice on Tuesday to kick off their West Coast swing and got a good sign, as Anthony Mantha took the ice. However, they were also missing two players in Conor Sheary and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Mantha was skating in a non-contact jersey, per The Athletic's Tarik El-Bashir. He has been on the IR and has not played since suffering an upper-body injury against the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 21.
Sheary and Kuznetsov missed the practice for different reasons. Sheary has returned to D.C. to be with his wife, Jordan, for the birth of their second child. He is expected to come back to Anaheim on Tuesday night, per The Washington Post's Roman Stubbs. Meanwhile, Kuznetsov has a non-COVID illness that appears to have been making its rounds through the locker room, as Marcus Johansson missed the last two games for the same reasons.
Washington has dropped seven oft he last eight games and is three days away from the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline. The Capitals already said goodbye to Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway, and there are several other names coming up in speculation, including Sheary and others like Lars Eller and Nick Jensen.
Meanwhile, the lines looked quite different, with Nic Dowd on the top line with Kuznetsov out and Eller shifting back to center. Meanwhile, Johansson was back in the mix at practice. On defense, Dylan McIlrath drew out.
Here were the lines, per Stubbs:
Alex Ovechkin-Nic Dowd-Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano-Dylan Strome-T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-Craig Smith
Aliaksei Protas-Lars Eller-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
EriK Gustafsson-Trevor van Riemsdyk
Martin Fehervary-Nick Jensen
Alex Alexeyev-Matt Irwin