Quick hits from Capitals coach Barry Trotz following Saturday’s practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in preparation for Sunday’s preseason finale against the New York Islanders (5 p.m., CSN):
Orpik out: Trotz said defenseman Brooks Orpik (wrist) will not play against the Islanders. Orpik said he does not have full strength following July 28 surgery and is targeting the Caps’ season opener on Oct. 10.
Burakovsky at center: Trotz said 20-year-old Andre Burakovsky needs a little work in the defensive zone, but plans on beginning the season with him as a center, presumably on the second line behind Evgeny Kuznetsov, who will fill in on the top line until Nicklas Backstrom returns from offseason hip surgery.
Look for Burakovsky to center a line with left wing Marcus Johansson and right wing Justin Williams on Sunday night and to be there when the season opens a week from tonight.
Stephenson to Hershey?: Trotz said his experiment of splitting time on the second line between 32-year-old veteran Derek Roy and 21-year-old Chandler Stephenson showed him what he already knew.
“In Derek’s case you tell the veteran savvy a little bit more,” Trotz said. “You can see Chandler is going to be just fine in the future. He’s done a tremendous job to this point and he’s a good prospect.
“I like Chandler a lot. He’s 21 and just scratching the surface of what he can do. He doesn’t need waivers, which is an easy decision if we want to send him down or bring him up. I see him playing NHL games for this year.”
Roy to stay?: If Burakovsky begins the season as the Caps’ second-line center and Jay Beagle is penciled in at third-line center, the Caps must decide whether they want to sign Roy as a fourth-line center, possibly between Brooks Laich and Michael Latta, and penalty killer.
Caps general manager Brian MacLellan has said he is interested to see which NHL players “shake loose” through NHL waivers when teams submit their rosters at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. If the Caps see a versatile forward they think can provide more than Roy while also fitting his salary under the cap, they may go that route.
Goalie battle: Despite some lackluster first periods, the Caps are 4-0-2 in the preseason and have gotten strong play from goaltenders Braden Holtby (2.29 GAA, 91.8 SP, 157 minutes), Justin Peters (2.22, 96.7, 84 minutes), Philipp Grubaer (2.22, 91.9, 81 minutes), and Dan Ellis (0.00, 100, 53 minutes).
Peters appears to be the odd-man out in the rotation and is expected to be sent to Hershey.
Trotz said there is “not much between” the preseason performances of Grubauer and Peters.
“They both have good numbers,” Trotz said. “Grubauer needs waivers. Petey needs waivers. There will be a decision made one way or the other.”