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Injuries remain a problem for the Caps and there is no real end in sight just yet

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Injuries remain a problem for the Caps and there is no real end in sight just yet

The injury news wasn’t all that positive—or definitive— on Tuesday, as the Caps began preparing for their November slate of games.

The Capitals have just two games this week, a Thursday home game against the New York Islanders and a Saturday road game against the Boston Bruins,

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Here’s the rundown:

  • Winger Brett Connolly, who has missed the past two games with an upper body injury, did not participate in the team’s first practice since returning from their Western Canada trip. “He’s still day-to-day,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “We’ll see where he is tomorrow. Don’t know if he’ll be able to skate tomorrow.”
     
  • Defenseman Matt Niskanen (upper body) is eligible to return from long-term injured reserve next Tuesday in Buffalo, however, it’s unclear if that will happen. He’s been skating on his own at Kettler Capitals Iceplex but Trotz indicated that he’s still a step or two away from being cleared to rejoin his teammates. “I think that’ll be really the doctors assessing it,” Trotz said. “They’ll probably take a few more pictures and go from there.”
     
  • Forward Tyler Graovac (upper body) has missed the past five games and also was not on the ice. He remains week-to-week and Trotz said he did not have an update to share at this time.
     
  • Trotz wasn’t asked about Andre Burakovsky, but we already know he won’t return before December. He’s recovering from a broken thumb that required surgery.
     

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So, yeah, the injury news wasn't great for a team that couldn’t really afford to lose anyone.

But if there is a bit of a silver lining, it’s that Connolly is still classified as day-to-day and Trotz sounded sorta hopeful that we’ll see him back on the ice sooner rather than later.

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Capitals Injury updates: Braden Holtby a possibility to start in Montreal

Capitals Injury updates: Braden Holtby a possibility to start in Montreal

The Capitals were able to pull out a win Friday in Colorado without Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie or Braden Holtby. With a game Monday in Montreal, the team hopes it will not be quite as shorthanded against the Canadiens.

Washington practiced Sunday in Montreal and three goalies took to the ice. Holtby was on the ice along with Pheonix Copley and Ilya Samsonov 

Holtby suffered an upper-body injury Wednesday morning prior to the game in Winnipeg. That injury kept him out of the lineup both Wednesday and Friday. The Caps netminder told Chris Kuc of The Atlantic that he is ready to play, but still needs to be cleared by doctors.

Head coach Todd Reirden said after practice that Holtby was a possibility to start Monday.

With Holtby’s status still up in the air, Samsonov remains with the team in case he is needed to suit up as a backup.

While Holtby was on the ice for practice, both Kuznetsov and Oshie were not. Reirden told the media that both players are day-to-day and are with the team in Montreal. Their status for Monday remains uncertain.

With no Kuznetsov or Oshie, Reirden kept the offensive lines largely the same from Friday except for switching Devante Smith-Pelly to the third line and moving Brett Connolly down to the fourth.

Alex Ovechkin – Lars Eller – Tom Wilson 
Jakub Vrana – Nicklas Backstrom – Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson – Travis Boyd – Devante Smith-Pelly
Dmitrij Jaskin – Nic Dowd – Brett Connolly

Reirden switched up the lines frequently on Friday and Stephenson, Boyd, Smith-Pelly combined for a goal in the second period.

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Capitals vs. Canadiens: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals vs. Canadiens: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

When the Capitals traveled to Montreal to face the Canadiens earlier this month, they suffered one of their toughest losses of the season, allowing three goals in the final three-plus minutes of the third period, falling 6-4 in devastating fashion.

The Caps will be looking for revenge on Monday evening, as they get their first crack at the Canadiens since that devastating loss.

Alex Ovechkin enjoys playing against the Canadiens. In 47 games against Montreal in his career, Ovechkin has 51 points (29 goals and 22 assists), including a two-goal performance in their meeting earlier this season.

Here is everything you need to know about Capitals vs. Canadiens which takes place Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.

CAPITALS at CANADIENS: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens, Game 20 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When: Monday, November 19, 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals vs. Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals at the Canadiens on the new MyTeams by NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7, 106.7 The Fan, 1500 AM

CAPITALS at CANADIENS TV SCHEDULE

6:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live
7:00 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:30 PM: Capitals at Montreal Canadiens
10:00 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS at CANADIENS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Max Domi, LW, Canadiens: In 20 games, Domi has recorded a point in all but three of them. His 24 points are tied for the ninth-most in the NHL.

Alex Ovechkin, LW, Capitals: Ovechkin loves playing against the Canadiens, as he has totaled 51 points in 47 career games against Montreal. In their first meeting this season, he netted two goals in the 6-4 loss.

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