Max Pacioretty to make his long awaited Washington Capitals debut

The day has finally arrived Washington Capitals fans. Max Pacioretty is available to play when the Caps take on the New Jersey Devils.
Max Pacioretty, Washington Capitals
Max Pacioretty, Washington Capitals / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight when Max Pacioretty takes the ice in his first game as a member of the Washington Capitals, it'll be a long time coming. It'll be his first time on NHL ice since Jan. 19, 2023. Nearly one year and 16 days.

The 35 year old tore his right achilles tendon prior to last season which caused him to miss the first three months of the season, then with the Carolina Hurricanes. That month of January saw him play in five games before he tore that same achilles.

In that lone month with the Hurricanes, Pacioretty had three goals. That included a two goal effort in his second game of the season on Jan. 7 at the Columbus Blue Jackets. From the 2013-14 season through the 2020-21 season, Pacioretty's 236 goals were the seventh most in the NHL.

Pacioretty has potted 30 goals six times in his 15 year NHL career. He signed with the Capitals over the summer for one year and $4 million. He was drafted 22nd overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2007 NHL Draft. In addition to the Canadiens and Hurricanes, he also spent four years on the Vegas Golden Knights albeit the year after they faced the Caps in the finals.

You can catch tonight's game at 7:30 p.m. on TNT as the Capitals take on the New Jersey Devils. Capitals coach Spencer Carbery just spoke to reporters and said Paciorety will draw in for Hendrix Lapierre on the third line with Dylan Strome and Matthew Phillips.

In other pregame news they're giving Joel Edmundson a maintenance day so Trevor van Riemsdyk comes back into the lineup. After Darcy Kuemper got 33 saves in last night's win, Hunter Shepard gets the cage tonight.

For a Caps offense that's struggled, can a healthy Pacioretty give them a jolt?