The Washington Capitals have just one more preseason preseason game on their schedule and it’s Saturday night in DC. The Caps and Blue Jackets will square off inside Capital One Arena as final preparations for the regular season begin.
On Saturday morning, the Capitals announced their roster for the game, and as expected, the only starters from the team missing are those who are day-to-day with injuries like TJ Oshie and Dmitry Orlov.
You can catch all the action on NBC Sports Washington with a puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.
The roster for the final preseason game tonight against Columbus at Capital One Arena.#CapsJackets | #ALL CAPS pic.twitter.com/rxA4JYtCgM
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 8, 2022
Given that this final game of the preseason is the last time the Caps will take to the ice for game action before it really “counts”, most lines and defensive pairings should closely resemble what the Caps do. Head Coach Peter Laviolette considers his strongest team.
The only surefire absences from this strongest group will come in the form of Oshie and Orlov. Oshie skated before practice on Friday after suffering an upper-body injury against the Detroit Red Wings. Orlov has missed two consecutive days of practice with what the team calls a lower-body injury.
Anthony Mantha will likely pick up the pace after missing a previous match due to the birth of his first child. He is expected to join captain Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson and the rest of the main healthy offensive contributors on the ice.
Aliaksei Protas, Henrik Borgstrom, Joe Snively and Lucas Johansen are notable names who could be in action and are still in contention for the last open spots on the eventual regular season roster. If Protas returned to the roster, he would have played all games this pre-season (6), as the coaching staff clearly wanted to give him an extended look.
“He’s continually remembered because of his game and the way he plays,” Laviolette said of Protas.
The Capitals will begin their regular season in just four days with their home opener against the Boston Bruins.
Main photo: Elizabeth Kong/MRNB