The Washington Capitals are still seeking their first win of the 2021 preseason and have another chance against the New Jersey Devils on Monday.
Washington’s lineup will feature a number of younger players and prospects still vying for an NHL spot. Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre will both play. Other roster hopefuls suiting up include forwards Beck Malenstyn, Mike Vecchione, Garrett Pilon, Michael Sgarbossa and Brian Pinho. Capitals regulars Daniel Sprong, Garnet Hathaway, Nic Dowd and Carl Hagelin will also play. Lars Eller and Tom Wilson appear to be scratched, as they were present at Monday’s skate.
As for the defense: Matt Irwin, Martin Fehervary, Alex Alexeyev and Tobias Geisser are also on the game roster, along with NHLers Dmitry Orlov and Trevor van Riemsdyk. Peter Laviolette, who coached Irwin in Nashville, has been impressed with the defenseman’s play through camp. He remains in the mix as a depth blueliner. Meanwhile, Fehervary is also trying to secure a full-time NHL gig, while Alexeyev and Geisser remain in the mix. Michal Kempny, who is still rehabilitating from a number of left-leg injuries, isn’t playing. John Carlson is on the list but was skating Monday and is likely a scratch. Here is the full game roster.
READ MORE ON WHN: Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom Gives Injury Update, Emphasizes Patience
Vitek Vanecek will get the start in net and will play the entire game, while Zach Fucale will back up. That was the case with Ilya Samsonov against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, while Pheonix Copley backed up. He made 28 saves on 31 shots.
Meanwhile, the non-game group skated at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Monday. Samsonov didn’t skate for the second straight day. Per the team, he’s dealing with a lower-body injury. However, Peter Laviolette told reporters that he’s not too worried about the injury.
Washington will be off on Tuesday and return for a game group morning skate on Wednesday. The Capitals will practice on Thursday with just one group, which is indicative of more cuts coming. That makes Monday’s game even more important for fringe players still trying to make the final roster.