The Washington Capitals host the Columbus Blue Jackets in the final preseason game. With the roster cut down to 27 players, there are just a few spots up for grabs.
Forwards: Alex Ovechkin, Sonny Milano, Dylan Strome, Nicklas Backstrom, Aliaksei Protas, Connor McMichael, Nic Dowd, Tom Wilson, Matthew Phillips, Beck Malenstyn, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov
Defense: Nick Jensen, Hardy Haman Aktell, Alex Alexeyev, Rasmus Sandin, Lucas Johansen, John Carlson
Goalies: Darcy Kuemper, Charlie Lindgren
Joel Edmundson who is out with a hand injury was skating before practice today in a light blue non contact jersey. Edmundson as well as Max Pacioretty will be on injured reserve so technically the Caps can have 25 men on their roster with two on injured reserve.
Pacioretty will very likely be on long term injured reserve or LTIR while Edmundson will be on regular IR. So that means after tonight’s preseason game there will be two players sent to Hershey so two spots are indeed up for grabs. One among forwards and the other among defensemen.
What’s notable in tonight’s roster is that Anthony Mantha isn’t playing but Matthew Phillips will be playing. It is likely Phillips will be competing with Beck Malenstyn and Connor McMichael for one of those final forward spots.
On the defense it’s a three way race after Vincent Iorio got sent to Hershey. Those players competing for that sixth spot are Hardy Haman Aktell, Alex Alexeyev, and Lucas Johansen.
The Caps enter tonight’s preseason finale with two straight wins along with a 3-1-1 record. Obviously, they would like to end the exhibition schedule on a high note before a big season opener next week on Friday the 13th at Capital One Arena when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.
You can catch the game tonight at 7 p.m. locally on Monumental Sports Network and nationally on NHL Network.