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Caps camp is underway—and here's how they're lined up

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Caps camp is underway—and here's how they're lined up

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:

WHITE

Forwards

Ovechkin – Eller – Marthinsen

O’Brien – Beagle – Peluso

Bau Hansen – Pilon – Oshie

Riat – Gustafsson – Gazley

Jeannot

Defense

Orpik – Hobbs

Djoos – Niskanen

Zaitsev – Williams

Goalies

Grubauer

Copley

RED

Forwards

Burakovsky – Backstrom – Vrana

Smith-Pelly – Stephenson – Simpson, W.

Malenstyn – Sill – Wilson

Mitchell, M. – Simpson, M. – Elgestal

                                                     Collins

Defense  

Orlov – Bowey

Siegenthaler – Chorney

Bindulis – Lewington

Goalies

Holtby

Vanecek

BLUE

Forwards

Albert – Kuznetsov – Chiasson

Walker – Graovac – Barber

Connolly – Boyd – Mitchell, G.

Baillargeon – McGauley – Bourque

Semchuk                               Devito

Defense

Johansen – Carslon

Hughes – Ness

Jokipakka – Labrie

Goalies

Milner

Carlson

Morrison

MORE CAPITALS: OVECHKIN CONCEDES HE WILL NOT PLAY IN 2018 OLYMPICS

Check out the latest edition of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast!

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In just one week, Madison Bowey already looks like a much improved player

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USA TODAY Sports

In just one week, Madison Bowey already looks like a much improved player

Madison Bowey’s second game went a lot better than his first and it’s not just because the Caps allowed only two goals as opposed to eight.

Despite being thrust into a significant role in his first taste of NHL experience, Bowey seemed to settle in a bit in his second contest even as it came against the NHL’s best offense in the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“Just everything in the first game felt like it happened so quick, I think,” Bowey said Thursday after the team’s practice. “It was obviously nice to come back in Washington and play in the home in front of the home crowd, get a practice in on Monday before the game Tuesday with the team. Just all the little factors that went into it definitely helped and I think it definitely felt a lot smoother out there on the ice.”

RELATED: BURAKOVSKY DEMOTED TO THIRD LINE

Playing at home definitely has its benefits for the coaching staff as they try to protect the rookie defensemen. Home teams get the chance to change after the visiting team allowing the coaches to pick the matchups they want for Bowey.

More favorable matchups certainly helped him, but Bowey also seemed to play with more confidence and a level of calm that was not there against Philadelphia. For Bowey, the difference was having time to settle in and practice with the team.

“Obviously this team is one of the veteran teams in the league so to be able to practice against top players in the league, it goes a long way,” Bowey said.

RELATED: WHY THE CAPS SHOULD NOT TRADE PROSPECT IIYA SAMSONOV

Bowey was called up for a Saturday game in Philadelphia after Matt Niskanen suffered a hand injury Friday in New Jersey. That means he quickly had to join the team and jump into the lineup for his first ever NHL game without any practice with the Caps at all.

Bowey now has two practices and two games under his belt and even a team-building day at FBI training. The effect that has had on his game was noticeable on Tuesday. It should be even more clear on Friday as the team travels to face the Detroit Red Wings.

“I feel myself improving every day,” Bowey said. “It forces you to really work hard and be on your top every day you come to the rink so for me, just having those two practices already have been huge. I feel the development's getting a lot better early.”

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Game 8: Capitals at Red Wings Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 8: Capitals at Red Wings Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals at Detroit Red Wings

Where: Little Caesar's Arena, Detroit, Mich.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET. Coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. ET with Capitals FaceOff.

How to Watch: Capitals at Red Wings will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus. (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals at Red Wings game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-RED WINGS GAME?

The Capitals (3-3-1) take on the Red Wings (4-3-0) Friday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Little Caesars's Arena.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-RED WINGS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Red Wings game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus. Capitals FaceOff gets things started at 6:30 p.m. ET followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington Plus following the game for Caps Extra followed by Caps Overtime and Caps in 30 for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:30 p.m. — Capitals @ Red Wings
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps OverTime
 

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-RED WINGS GAME?

The Capitals-Red Wings game, as well as the pre and postgame shows, 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.

WHAT ARE THE LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-RED WINGS GAME?

Here are the projected lines:

Forwards
Tom Wilson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Jakub Vrana
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Devante Smith-Pelly - Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Defense
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Taylor Chorney

Goalies
Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches
Nathan Walker, Aaron Ness, Tyler Graovac (injured), Matt Niskanen (LTIR)

CAPITALS-RED WINGS 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.