Quick hits from Sunday’s Day 3 of Capitals training camp at Kettler Capitals Iceplex:
Line combinations: Barry Trotz has been trying to find some favorable combinations with his forward pairs and his most consistent have been Evgeny Kuznetsov with Alex Ovechkin; Andre Burakovsky with Marcus Johansson; and Derek Roy with T.J. Oshie. Right wing Justin Wiliams has been skating with a variety of linemates and on Sunday he was with Burakovsky and Johansson.
D pairings: Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen have spent the start of camp together, as has Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt. With Brooks Orpik (wrist surgery) expected to miss the first five preseason games, it will be interesting to see if Taylor Chorney, who can play both sides, will be paired with John Carlson on Monday night. Trotz said he’s also been impressed by Ryan Stanton, who played 54 games with the Vancouver Canucks last season and will be given a look as the Caps’ seventh defenseman.
Goalie plan: Braden Holtby is slated to start Monday night’s preseason opener against the Carolina Hurricanes, with Dan Ellis scheduled to replace him midway through the game. That would suggest Philipp Grubauer and Justin Peters will split Tuesday night’s preseason game in Boston.
Russian 3-on-3: The Caps have been spending an inordinate amount of time on 3-on-3 play and on Sunday the Russian trio of Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov looked dynamic together, scoring less than a minute into the session. “Nobody understands what we say,” Orlov said with a laugh. “We talk (Russian) and nobody know. It’s good. It’s our secret.” Trotz said he’ll probably “tone it down” with work on 3-on-3s until later in training camp.
Roster reduction: Trotz said the Capitals likely will make their first training camp cuts on Friday or Saturday after the Caps have played their third preseason game (against the Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday night).