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Trotz drops hints on who may stay, who may go


Trotz drops hints on who may stay, who may go

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he went into Sunday night’s 6-2 preseason victory over the New York Islanders 90 percent sure of which roster moves the team would make leading up to Tuesday, when teams must submit their 23-man rosters to the NHL by 5 p.m.

“To be quite honest with you, we made the decisions in the last day here,” Trotz said. “We were just hoping we got through the game with no injuries and if there were injuries we might rethink a couple things.”

Caps third-line center Jay Beagle suffered what Trotz called a “slight” lower body injury early in the third period in Sunday night’s victory, which was propelled by Alex Ovechkin (two goals), Evgeny Kuznetsov (one goal, three assists), T.J. Oshie (one goal, two assists) and John Carlson (one goal, three assists).

Trotz said there was “good competition” in battles for the 13th forward and seventh defenseman, adding “we’ll see what we’ve got” when the team resumes practice on Tuesday.

Before the game the Caps assigned 21-year-old center Chandler Stephenson to the AHL Hershey Bears, taking him out of the competition for the role of depth center.

“Where he was last year to where he is right now is a tremendous accomplishment for him,” Trotz said. “He went from being a little but suspect to being a real good prospect. I think he left here slightly disappointed but he realizes he can play.”

Chandler’s re-assignment theoretically opens the door for the Caps to sign free-agent center Derek Roy, but he was scratched from Sunday night’s lineup, along with veteran Brooks Laich, and Troitz was noncommittal when asked about Roy after the game.  

“That’s a joint (decision),” Trotz said. “To be quite honest, we want to know where we are as a team and also have the right role for Derek. That’s really important for us, too, not only for Derek.”

If Andre Burakovsky begins the season as the Caps’ second-line center – and all indications are he will – then Roy would slide down to a temporary fourth-line role, possibly between wingers Michael Latta, Sean Collins or Brooks Laich.

If the Caps do not sign Roy, Latta would likely open the season as the club’s fourth-line center between Collins and Laich.

Trotz said both O’Brien and Collins, a pair of hard-nosed wingers, impressed him in the preseason.

“I’m really happy with where Liam has come from,” Trotz said. “His skating and his ability to play the game at a quicker level, I’m really excited about.

“Sean’s not going to wow you as a sexy player. He’s going to wow you with his consistency and he does a lot of the detail things Joel Ward used to do here for many years.”

As for the role of seventh defenseman, Trotz said he was pleased with the play of veteran Taylor Chorney, who appears to have the upper hand over Aaron Ness and Ryan Stanton, who are likely to start the season in Hershey.

Here is one guess at how the Caps’ 23-man roster will look on Tuesday. (Remember, Nicklas Backstrom would be forced to miss at least 10 games if the Caps placed him on long-term injured reserve, which is why they probably won’t):


Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson – Andre Burakovsky – Justin Williams

Jason Chimera – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson

Brooks Laich – Michael Latta – Sean Collins

Injured: Nicklas Backstrom

Extra: Liam O’Brien or Derek Roy


Brooks Orpik – John Carlson

Karl Alzner – Matt Niskanen

Nate Schmidt – Dmitry Orlov

Extra: Taylor Chorney


Braden Holtby – Philipp Grubauer

MORE CAPITALS: Plenty of positives in Caps 6-2 preseason win over Isles

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


The Capitals (43-24-7) take on the Canadiens (27-36-12) Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Montreal.


The Capitals-Canadiens game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. for postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals at Canadiens
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime


You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


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.

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Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately


Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately

The Caps signed University of North Dakota forward Shane Gersich, a fifth round selection in 2014 and one of the organization’s top prospects, on Friday morning, the team announced.

Gersich, a left shot who is listed at 5-11, 175-pounds, has already joined the team in Montreal, where the Caps play the Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday night.

His contract, which begins this season, carries an average annual value of $925,000.

It’s unclear when Gersich will make his NHL debut, but it could happen at some point in the Caps’ final eight games before the playoffs.


NBC Sports Washington has been told that the primary objective for Gersich in the coming weeks is to get his first taste of the NHL by observing—and practicing alongside—his new teammates in Washington. If the opportunity to get him into the lineup presents itself, then it’s possible he’ll suit up.

The 21-year-old just completed his third season at UND. Here are Gersich’s numbers from junior and college, courtesy of


At UND, the smooth-skating and skilled Gersich also produced this memorable goal vs. Denver:

Gersich has been assigned jersey No. 63 in Washington, according to the Caps’ website.

The addition of Gersich and subsequent subtraction of Travis Boyd, who was reassigned to Hershey on Friday morning, leaves the Caps with 14 forwards on the roster.

“I think he did a great job at rookie camp,” Caps GM Brian MacLellan said of Gersich in July. “He was one of our best players, if not the best player, at camp. Really happy about the way he’s progressed and where we picked him. I think Ross Mahoney did a great job with that pick.”