As Capitals training camp begins in Arlington, here are the initial forward combinations and defensive pairs—plus a few observations about how Coach Barry Trotz has everyone lined up.
- The young defensemen the Caps want to get a good look at are all paired with veterans. Lucas Johansen is playing alongside John Carlson; Madison Bowey is with Dmitry Orlov; Christian Djoos is with Matt Niskanen; Connor Hobbs is with Brooks Orpik; and Jonas Siegenthaler is with Taylor Chorney. It's probably worth noting that Johansen opens in the vacant spot to the left of Carlson.
- The spotlight in the coming weeks will shine brightest on Jakub Vrana, who is starting on the best line. The 21-year-old winger is skating on the right side of Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky.
- Alex Chiasson, who is on a PTO, is being centered by Evgeny Kuznetsov. Again, you never want to read too much into camp lines on Day 1, but it appears they want to get a good look at the potential bottom-six winger.
RELATED: WHY BRADEN HOLTBY IS THE CAPS' MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER
Here are the groupings in their entirety:
Ovechkin – Eller – Marthinsen
O’Brien – Beagle – Peluso
Bau Hansen – Pilon – Oshie
Riat – Gustafsson – Gazley
Orpik – Hobbs
Djoos – Niskanen
Zaitsev – Williams
Burakovsky – Backstrom – Vrana
Smith-Pelly – Stephenson – Simpson, W.
Malenstyn – Sill – Wilson
Mitchell, M. – Simpson, M. – Elgestal
Orlov – Bowey
Siegenthaler – Chorney
Bindulis – Lewington
Albert – Kuznetsov – Chiasson
Walker – Graovac – Barber
Connolly – Boyd – Mitchell, G.
Baillargeon – McGauley – Bourque
Johansen – Carslon
Hughes – Ness
Jokipakka – Labrie
MORE CAPITALS: OVECHKIN CONCEDES HE WILL NOT PLAY IN 2018 OLYMPICS
Check out the latest edition of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast!
Like what you hear? Be sure to subscribe on iTunes and AudioBoom and give us a good review! Have a question you want answered on the podcast? Send us your questions to CapitalsFaceoff@gmail.com. Maybe we'll even read it on the air.
Playing three games in four days takes a toll on even the fittest athletes, and it was their sluggish start that doomed the Capitals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
After being noncomittal about his starting goalie all weekend, Coach Barry Trotz put Philipp Grubauer in net. Grubauer ended up making 29 saves on 34 shots. Offensively, the Caps got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, and John Carlson. Carlson's third period goal cut the Flyers' lead to two with a little over three minutes to go, but a Jakub Voracek empty-netter a few moments later was the nail in the coffin.
Here are your three stars from the game:
1. Travis Boyd had the play of the game for the Capitals. Boyd carried the puck into the Flyer's zone, cut through multiple defenders and fired a slick shot to a streaking Ovechkin, who burried the puck in the back of the net. Check it out:
Not only was the play nice on its own, but it was Boyd's first NHL point. Not a bad way to get it.
2. Shayne Gostisbehere got the Flyers going with his goal in the first period. The defenseman had one goal on five shots along with being an intimidating force in the defensive zone. After going six weeks without scoring, today's goal was Gostisbehere's second goal in three games.
3. Wayne Simmonds was the best offensive player on the ice on Sunday, scoring twice - both in the final period. It was the 22nd and 23rd goals of the season for the 29-year-old winger. It was also the first multi-goal game for Simmonds since Opening Night, when he had two against San Jose.
The Caps hit the ice next on Tuesday, when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Capital One Center.
What: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
When: 5:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: Capitals-Flyers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Flyers game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.
WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-FLYERS GAME?
The Capitals (41-23-7) take on the Flyers (36-25-11) Sunday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET in Philadelphia.
WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-FLYERS GAME ON?
The Capitals-Flyers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)
4:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
4:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
5:00 p.m. — Capitals at Flyers
7:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
8:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
9:00 p.m. — Caps in 30
WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-FLYERS GAME?
The Capitals-Flyers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.
CAPITALS-FLYERS OPEN THREAD
Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans.
For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.