The Washington Capitals held a practice yesterday to prepare for tonight’s game with the Dallas Stars at 8 p.m. on ESPN. Here’s how they lined up during line rushes which included Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was healthy scratched ahead of Monday’s 6-0 loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
Kuznetsov skated on the second line:
The odd man out was Sonny Milano, who hasn’t recorded a point in his last seven games. In the Caps 5-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks a week ago he skated just 5:10 on the ice.
Kuznetsov centers a line featuring Hendrix Lapierre and Matthew Phillips. While he hasn’t gotten a point in his last five games, Lapierre has showed up big in some key Caps wins last month. Phillips had an assist in the Caps road win over the New York Islanders but hasn’t recorded a point since.
Kuznetsov did not skate on the first power play unit when they were doing drills. Connor McMichael is still there for now as well as John Carlson, Alex Ovechkin, Dylan Strome, and Tom Wilson.
Kuznetsov was on the second unit with Rasmus Sandin, Aliaksei Protas, Anthony Mantha, and Phillips. The rest of the forward lines and defensive pairs are the same.
When Kuznetsov was scratched from the lineup Monday, Caps head coach Spencer Carbery told The Sports Junkies of 106.7 The Fan:
"“Not happy. Definitely not happy, as I would expect. Honest conversation. Whether he agrees or disagrees, I understand that as a coach. I have to make tough decisions that he might not agree with.”"
Kuznetsov was asked by Sammi Silber of The Hockey News about if the noise of being scratched from the lineup got to him. He stayed off social media but still got texts from friends that saw some headlines.
"“Some people [are like], ‘What will happen? Hey, come on, settle down. This is how it is.”"
He’s tuned out the noise. He was good at practice and Carbery was impressed. We’ll see if he gets his revenge tour in motion.