Washington Capitals Player News: All Positions

News: The Capitals placed Ikonen on unconditional waivers for the purpose of contract termination Friday, Chris Kuc of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Ikonen wasn't overly impressive during his first season in North America in 2018-19, notching four goals and 14 points in 54 appearances with AHL Hershey. The 24-year-old Finn will almost certainly head overseas to continue his professional playing career.
News: Eller will miss the rest of the IIHF World Championship due to a leg injury, J. J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington reports.
Impact: The leg injury that will hold Eller out of the rest of the tournament is evidently the same one he played through during Washington's brief playoff run. The 30-year-old pivot believed he would be able to continue to play through the injury during the World Championship, but he was reportedly in notable discomfort following Denmark's third game, which prompted the Capitals to request that he return to the States. Eller should be back to 100 percent well ahead of next season's training camp, so this injury shouldn't have any impact on his availability for the start of the 2019-20 campaign.
News: Jonsson-Fjallby was reassigned to AHL Hershey on Monday.
Impact: Jonsson-Fjallby rejoins the Bears on their playoff run after a successful season with Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Hockey League. The 21-year-old is returning after a productive playoff run in his native Sweden with seven goals and 12 points in 19 games. The 147th overall pick from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft could compete for a bottom-six role if the Capitals have significant roster turnover this summer, but his long-term fantasy value remains fairly murky.
News: Eller will join Team Denmark at the 2019 IIHF World Championships.
Impact: Eller was not expected to join his country's effort at the upcoming tournament in Slovakia after revealing he had been injured during the NHL playoffs in April, but he's apparently healthy enough to resume playing. The 29-year-old center posted 13 goals and 36 points in 81 regular season games for the Capitals in 2018-19 and will be a key figure for the Danish side.
News: Burakovsky will not play for Team Sweden at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
Impact: Burakovsky might be trying to avoid any injury potential as he heads towards restricted free agency this summer. The 24-year-old winger has been enigmatic during his time with the Capitals and it remains to be seen if they have enough confidence to tender his $3.25 million qualifying offer or risk letting him sign with a different team.
News: Backstrom will not participate in the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
Impact: Backstrom listed "injury" as the reason for declining the invitation, and though he hinted that he was bothered by some kind of issue during the playoffs, no further update has been provided. The 31-year-old center finished with 74 points in 80 games -- while adding five goals and eight points in seven postseason contests -- during 2018-19 and should be a top fantasy playmaker again in 2019-20.
News: The Capitals placed Kammerer on unconditional waivers Tuesday, Chris Kuc of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The Capitals are at the limit for standard player contracts in the organization heading into what is likely to be a busy summer and Kammerer has been given his walking papers as a result. The German winger tallied four goals and 13 points in 33 games with AHL Hershey during the 2018-19 season.
News: Vrana played through an unspecified injury during the Capitals' postseason run, Brian McNally of NBC Sports Washington reports.
Impact: Vrana didn't notch a point during the postseason, finishing the seven-game series with a minus-1 rating, eight shots on goal, eight hits and two blocked shots. Despite the silent conclusion to his campaign, the third-year winger collected a career-best 47 points -- 24 goals and 23 assists -- over 82 games during the regular season. The marked improvements should shoot him up draft boards heading into 2019-20.
News: Connolly expressed a desire to sign a contract extension with the Capitals, JJ Regan of NBC Sports Washington reports.
Impact: Connolly has resurrected his career with the Capitals, going from draft-bust contender to winning a Stanley Cup in just three seasons. The pending unrestricted free agent posted a career-high 22 goals and 46 points in 81 games despite averaging just 13:20 of ice time on the third line. The 26-year-old is in line for a big raise and a boost in ice time given how productive he's been, and it's not clear the Capitals will be able to keep him. Expect the sixth overall pick from the 2010 NHL Entry Draft's fantasy value to rise if he finds a new home.
News: Kempny (leg) indicated that he will begin rehabbing his torn hamstring sometime next week and will be ready for training camp, Chris Kuc of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Kempny's injury late in the season will likely go down as a major factor in Washington's early end to its Stanley Cup title defense. The 28-year-old defender was having a marvelous first full season with the Capitals, posting six goals, 25 points and a scintillating plus-24 rating in 71 games before having his season cut short during an altercation with Tampa Bay's Cedric Paquette. Keep checking back for updates during the offseason.
News: Burakovsky is hopeful he will return to DC next season, Samantha Pell of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: Burakovsky confirmed he has not had any discussions with the team about a possible extension just yet. A restricted free agent, the 24-year-old winger struggled mightily in 2018-19 with just 12 goals and 25 points in 76 games -- although 16 of those points came in the last half of the season. The enigmatic winger will be owed a $3.25 million qualifying offer to retain his rights, which may prove too rich for a Capitals team right up against the salary cap and unwilling to commit to a forward with such inconsistent production.
News: Orpik said he will take some time to decide his playing future, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: Orpik missed 27 games during the 2018-19 season with a knee injury and admitted the effects of the injury lingered for the rest of the year. The 38-year-old's career is certainly in its twilight, but the two-time Stanley Cup-winner will take plenty of time to decide his next step. While his presence as a physical force and vocal leader would likely be welcomed back by an NHL team in 2019-20, father time has likely all but erased most of his fantasy value.
News: Eller said he was battling an injury during the playoffs, but no surgery is required, Chris Kuc of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Eller was given some maintenance days for an upper-body injury before the playoffs began, so this isn't exactly a shocking revelation. Despite posting an empty-net goal and three points in seven games, it's clear the Danish center wasn't playing with the same intensity that he did during Washington's Stanley Cup run, and the injury is likely the culprit. The 29-year-old is expected to make a full recovery and anchor the third line once again in 2019-20.
News: Orlov will represent Team Russia in the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
Impact: Orlov was producing better offensively with four assists in seven playoff games before Washington was eliminated from Stanley Cup contention. The 27-year-old will join teammates Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov on Russia's roster.
News: Kuznetsov will be joining Team Russia at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
Impact: Kuznetsov wasn't the dominant force in the postseason that he was a year ago, but the Russians are certainly grateful he will be available to play in this year's World Championship. The 26-year-old posted a goal and six points in seven playoff games.
News: Ovechkin will join Team Russia for the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
Impact: Ovechkin will join teammates Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov following a disappointing first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Hurricanes. The 33-year-old winger posted four goals and nine points in seven playoff games.
News: Vrana managed just eight shots and a minus-1 rating in the 2018-19 playoffs
Impact: Vrana's fade late in the season likely had something to do with Washington's first-round exit at the hands of the Hurricanes. Despite the disappointing finish, the 23-year-old winger still set a career high with 24 goals and 47 points in 82 games and figures to be a top-six winger moving forward, providing plenty of fantasy upside in standard formats.
News: Kuznetsov scored a goal in Wednesday's 4-3 double-overtime loss to the Hurricanes in Game 7 of their first-round series.
Impact: The 26-year-old had picked up five assists in the first six games of the series, but Kuznetsov finally got a puck past Petr Mrazek in the second period of the deciding contest -- giving the Caps a 3-1 lead that they would let slip through their fingers. Kuznetsov's production took a step back in 2018-19, but he's a key part of the top six for Washington and seems like a lock for at least 20 goals and 70 points once again next season.
News: Holtby permitted four goals on 42 shots in the 4-3 double-overtime loss to the Hurricanes in Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals Wednesday.
Impact: Holtby was strong through the second period, but the Hurricanes stormed back with three unanswered goals to stun the defending Stanley Cup champions in the last possible game of the series. Washington's No. 1 netminder produced a 2.67 GAA and .914 save percentage in the opening round exit.
News: Holtby is the projected starter for Game 7 against the visiting Hurricanes on Wednesday, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: This is a no-brainer goalie confirmation, as the defending champs aren't about to pivot from the world-class tender in a deciding playoff contest. Holtby has maintained a 2.68 GAA and .916 save percentage in this series, with a shutout and a few duds mixed in.
News: Ovechkin recorded a goal, a minus-2 rating, three shots, five hits and 12 penalty minutes during Monday's 5-2 loss over the Hurricanes in Game 6.
Impact: Ovechkin did everything he could to secure a win for the Capitals, but his frustration with the officials following a disallowed goal in the third period boiled over and got him tossed in the final minutes. The reigning Conn Smythe Trophy-winner has been his usual excellent self in the playoffs with four goals and eight points against the Hurricanes in Round 1. The Capitals will need more of the same if they are to survive Game 7 on Wednesday.
News: Jensen has gone nine straight games without a point dating back to the regular season.
Impact: While the Red Wings castoff isn't relied upon heavily for offense, the Capitals need all the ancillary scoring they can get with the defending champs getting set for Game 7 against the Hurricanes on Wednesday. Jensen's 14 hits and 12 blocked shots amid the scoring slump is a typical output, so it's not like he's been completely off the map in the most crucial part of the season.
News: Burakovsky registered an even-strength assist in Monday's Game 6 loss to the Hurricanes, with 5-2 being the final score.
Impact: Burakovsky synched up with Lars Eller and was the secondary distributor on the game's first goal to Brett Connolly -- this was a sweet top-shelf snipe from the latter, but Burakovsky hasn't been all that active in the postseason with this counting as his first point in the series.
News: Holtby stopped 31 of 35 shots in Monday's 5-2 loss to the Hurricanes in Game 6 of their first-round series.
Impact: Carolina's last goal was scored into an empty net. The Caps actually held a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission but it was all 'Canes after that, and Holtby simply couldn't keep them at bay. He'll take a 2.68 GAA and .916 save percentage back to D.C, for the deciding Game 7 on Wednesday.
News: Holtby is set to get the nod for Monday's Game 6 road clash with Carolina, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: Holtby is coming off a 30-save shutout performance in Game 5, but is on the road, where he suffered his two losses in the series. As the visiting netminder, the veteran is sporting a 3.56 GAA and .899 save percentage, compared to 1.65 and .943 at home, respectively, and will need to step up his performance if he wants to avoid a taxing Game 7.
News: Milner was called up from ECHL South Carolina on Sunday.
Impact: Milner's ECHL squad was eliminated from the postseason, so he'll become the third Capitals goaltender on the depth chart. Ilya Samsonov was sent back to AHL Hershey as he looks to advance his team further in the AHL playoffs. Milner won't see any NHL action barring an emergency injury situation.
News: Samsonov was sent down to AHL Hershey on Sunday.
Impact: Samsonov was serving as the third netminder behind Braden Holtby and Pheonix Copley. The 22-year-old posted an .898 save percentage and 2.70 GAA in his first AHL season and will return to try and lead Hersey to the second round of the postseason.
News: Oshie's injury has been clarified as a broken collarbone, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: A broken collarbone likely explains why Oshie has been ruled out for the remainder of the postseason. The winger should have enough time to get back to 100 percent prior to the start of the 2019-20 campaign, though it will certainly be something for fantasy owners to monitor during training camp.
News: Dowd scored on a penalty shot in Saturday's 6-0 win over the Hurricanes in Game 5.
Impact: Not only was it Dowd's first-ever postseason tally and his first successful NHL penalty shot, it was also the first playoff penalty-shot goal in Capitals history. The tally made it 5-0 halfway through the third period. Expectations should be tempered for Dowd; the goal was his first point in the postseason, and his usage as a fourth-liner gives him limited opportunities to factor into the offense.
News: Connolly found twine on one of his two shots in Saturday's 6-0 win over the Hurricanes in Game 5.
Impact: Connolly had a breakout year with 22 goals and 46 points in 81 appearances in the regular season, but this was his first lamp-lighting in April. The winger has generated 10 hits and six PIM over five games in the postseason, and may be worth a look as a DFS play for Monday's Game 6.
News: Kuznetsov dished two power-play assists and added four shots in Saturday's 6-0 win over the Hurricanes in Game 5.
Impact: Kuznetsov has five helpers and 11 shots over five games, with three of his assists coming on the power play. After spending a good portion of the season on the top line with Alex Ovechkin, Kuznetsov was replaced by Nicklas Backstrom for the playoff run. That change has suppressed his production a bit, but the Capitals combining for a single goal between Games 3 and 4 didn't help Kuznetsov's cause either.
News: Carlson posted two power-play helpers, three shots and two PIM in Saturday's 6-0 win over the Hurricanes in Game 5.
Impact: Carlson last found himself on the scoresheet in Game 1, when he had a trio of helpers. For the series, the 29-year-old blueliner has five assists -- four coming with the man advantage -- and 18 shots on goal. He's also racked up 10 blocked shots and six PIM.
News: Wilson scored a goal and added a helper and six hits in Saturday's 6-0 drubbing of the Hurricanes in Game 5.
Impact: Both of Wilson's points came on the man advantage. The physical winger has two goals and two helpers in five games, adding 22 hits and eight shots on goal in the series. His top-line trio with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom combined for nine points Saturday, propelling the Capitals to a 3-2 series lead.
News: Ovechkin scored a power-play goal, delivered two helpers and dished a season-high 11 hits in Saturday's 6-0 win over the Hurricanes in Game 5.
Impact: Ovechkin left a mark both on the scoresheet and on the bodies of the Hurricanes with Saturday's effort. He's up to three goals and four helpers in five games, to go with 29 hits and 15 shots on goal. All three of his tallies in the series have come on the power play.
News: Backstrom scored twice on four shots and added two helpers in Saturday's 6-0 win over the Hurricanes in Game 5.
Impact: The four-point outing doubled his playoff output to eight points. Backstrom has taken on the finisher role with five goals in as many games in the series. He's added 11 hits and 15 shots on goal. Three of his points have come with a man advantage.
News: Holtby stopped all 30 shots he faced in a 6-0 win over the Hurricanes in Game 5 on Saturday.
Impact: Holtby got plenty of offensive support back on home ice after the Capitals had only one goal combined in Games 3 and 4. He has a 2.40 GAA and a .923 save percentage in the series, and will likely patrol the crease as the Capitals look to close out the series in Monday's Game 6.
News: Holtby will guard the cage during Saturday's Game 5 against the Hurricanes in Washington, Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press reports.
Impact: Holtby was pretty solid in Thursday's Game 4, turning aside 22 of 24 shots, but he ultimately suffered a second straight loss due to a lack of goal support from his teammates. The 29-year-old netminder will look to stay sharp and help his team return to Carolina for Game 6 on Monday with a 3-2 series lead by securing his third home victory of this postseason Saturday.
News: Oshie (upper body) is "highly unlikely" to return this postseason, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: It's rather ominous that Oshie's recovery could span beyond the postseason, especially knowing that the Stanley Cup playoffs run all the way through early June. The Capitals will be looking for another offensive spark from Devante Smith-Pelly -- who made a big splash en route to the franchise's Stanley Cup win in 2018 -- now that he's been recalled from AHL Hershey as a reinforcement for Oshie.
News: Samsonov was recalled from AHL Hershey ahead of Game 5 against the visiting Hurricanes on Saturday, Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press reports.
Impact: The Capitals will stock three goaltenders ahead of this contest, which will ultimately break a 2-2 tie in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Samsonov -- who kicked back 49 shots in a double overtime loss to AHL Bridgeport on Friday -- is merely an insurance option at this juncture.
News: The Capitals reassigned Vanecek to AHL Hershey on Friday.
Impact: Teams generally carry three goaltenders on their rosters during the postseason, so although Vanecek will head to the minors for now, it wouldn't be surprising to see him back with the big club sooner rather than later.
News: Smith-Pelly was recalled from AHL Hershey on Friday.
Impact: Smith-Pelly had a rough second season with the Capitals, as he managed only eight points with a minus-6 rating through 54 games. Still, rest assured that no loyal fan of the Caps has forgotten about the fiery winger's heroics from 2018, when he scored seven goals -- including a pair of game-winning tallies -- on a 24.1 shooting percentage en route to the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup win. He's back in the picture with T.J. Oshie (upper body) out for an extended period of time.
News: Ovechkin scored the Capitals' lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the Hurricanes in Game 4 on Thursday.
Impact: Ovie was in his office -- the left circle -- and he did what he does best. He fired a one-timer, this time on the power play. Ovechkin has two goals and two assists in four postseason games. And 63 goals and 121 points in 124 career playoff games. That kind of consistency is what fantasy playoff championships are built on.
News: Holtby made 22 saves for the Capitals in a 2-1 loss to the Hurricanes in Game 4 on Thursday night.
Impact: The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2, with the home team winning each game. Holtby heads home to Washington for a Saturday night tilt and hopes to continue the home-ice advantage.
News: Following Thursday's 2-1 Game 4 loss to the Hurricanes, coach Todd Rierden told reporters Oshie (upper body) will be out "for quite some time," Chris Kuc of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Unfortunately this news comes as no surprise, as it was obvious that Oshie was likely dealing with a significant injury when he was writhing on the ice in pain after being boarded by Carolina's Warren Foegele in the third period of Thursday's loss. Foegele was only assessed a minor penalty for the hit, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him face supplemental discipline from the NHL. The Capitals have yet to release any details regarding the specific nature of Oshie's injury or a potential timetable for his recovery, but at this point it's safe to assume he'll miss the rest of the conference quarterfinals at a minimum.
News: Oshie headed straight to the locker room after suffering an apparent upper-body injury in the third period of Thursday's Game 5 against the Hurricanes.
Impact: Oshie suffered the injury when he crashed face first into the boards after being contacted by Carolina's Warren Foegele from behind. The American winger writhed on the ice in pain before gingerly skating straight to the locker room. More information regarding Oshie's condition should surface ahead of Saturday's Game 5, but at this point it appears as though he may be in danger of missing extended time.
News: Holtby will get the start Thursday on the road for Game 4 against the Hurricanes.
Impact: Holtby was hung out to dry in Monday's 5-0 loss in Game 3 and can only hope for a better effort before the series returns to DC. The 29-year-old carries a 3.30 GAA and .902 save percentage behind a 2-1 record thus far in the playoffs.
News: Siegenthaler is expected to draw into the lineup Thursday against the Hurricanes, Chris Kuc of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Siegenthaler is expected to start on the third pairing with Brooks Orpik, replacing a beleaguered Christian Djoos, who has looked out of sorts in the first three games of Round One. The 21-year-old defender has an opportunity to cement himself as an everyday NHL player, but his lack of offensive production (four assists in 26 games) doesn't suggest a great deal of fantasy upside.
News: Boyd is expected to be in the lineup Thursday against the Hurricanes, Chris Kuc of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Boyd has been a healthy scratch thus far in Round One, but he will draw in for Chandler Stephenson on the fourth line with Carl Hagelin and Nic Dowd. The 25-year-old forward has only one other playoff appearance in his career, so there isn't much fantasy upside at this point.
News: Holtby turned aside 40 of 45 shots faced during Monday's 5-0 loss in Game 3 against the Hurricanes.
Impact: Holtby was under siege all night as the Hurricanes put on a show and dominated puck possession for most of the game. The 29-year-old will fall to a 3.30 GAA and .902 save percentage behind a 2-1-0 record thus far in the playoffs and will need to be sharp if Washington is to get back into the win column in Thursday's Game 4.
News: Sutter was promoted to AHL Hershey on Monday, Chris Kuc of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Sutter is about to get his first taste of pro-level hockey. The 19-year-old was over a point-a-game player in junior this season, putting up 41 points in 38 games with the WHL's Everett Silvertips.
News: Holtby will be between the pipes on the road for Game 3 versus Carolina on Monday, Brian McNally of NBC Sports Washington reports.
Impact: Holtby is dialed in right now, as he is riding a seven-game winning streak in which he posted a 1.85 GAA and .938 save percentage. With the Lightning and Penguins faltering and Holtby on top of his game, the Eastern Conference appears to be Washington's for the taking.
News: Vanecek was recalled from AHL Hershey on Sunday, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: In a corresponding move, the Capitals also reassigned Ilya Samsonov to AHL Hershey. The two goalies had been splitting time for the Bears, and now it seems that Samsonov will help them through their playoff run while Vanecek bolsters Washington's depth in the crease. Over 38 appearances in the minors, the 23-year-old currently holds a 21-10-6 record while posting a 2.62 GAA and .907 save percentage.
News: Samsonov was reassigned to AHL Hershey on Sunday, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: In a corresponding move, the Capitals also recalled Vitek Vanecek from AHL Hershey. Samsonov will be able to compete in the AHL playoffs with the Bears, while Vanecek will help provide the Capitals with depth in the crease during their respective playoff run. In the minors, the Russian currently holds a 19-14-2 record while posting a 2.74 GAA and .896 save percentage.
News: Niskanen registered an assist, three blocked shots and two hits in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win over the Hurricanes in Game 2 of their first-round series.
Impact: Niskanen had 25 points in 80 games in the regular season, his lowest mark in a full campaign since collecting 21 in 2011-12. He did have a career-high 167 hits as well as 137 blocked shots and 143 shots on goal. Niskanen's usage is more in a defensive capacity on the second pairing with Dmitry Orlov, but the 32-year-old contributes enough outside of scoring to be worth a look in fantasy if the Capitals can make another deep playoff run.
News: Orlov registered an assist and three shots in Saturday's 4-3 overtime with against the Hurricanes in Game 2 of their first-round series.
Impact: Orlov had gone without a point in four straight games, but provided a helper on Nicklas Backstrom's opening goal early in the first period. The blueliner had 29 points, 137 hits, 103 blocked shots and 101 shots on goal in the regular season. It's likely the non-scoring categories that could give him postseason fantasy relevance.
News: Kuznetsov picked up a pair of assists in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win against the Hurricanes in Game 2 of their best-of-seven series.
Impact: Kuznetsov's second helper was to Brooks Orpik, who secured the victory just 1:48 into overtime. The Russian center has three helpers in two games so far, but hasn't contributed in many other categories yet. He isn't known for playing physically, but usually his point production is enough to make up for it.
News: Ovechkin racked up two assists, four shots and seven hits in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win over the Hurricanes in Game 2 of their first-round series.
Impact: With three points and 13 hits through two games, Ovechkin is contributing in multiple ways as the Capitals move ahead 2-0 in the series. He had 89 points in 81 appearances this season, including 51 goals. Much of the Capitals' offense flows through the Russian winger, who is capable of reaping big rewards for fantasy owners.
News: Orpik scored the overtime winner in Saturday's 4-3 win over the Hurricanes in Game 2 of their first-round series.
Impact: The 38-year-old blueliner swooped into the zone and blasted a centering pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov right by Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek to end overtime just 1:48 into the extra frame. Scoring isn't Orpik's primary skill, as he had only two goals and nine points in 53 games this season, his lowest mark since posting eight points in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign. He already has two points and 11 hits in this series so far, with Saturday's goal giving the Capitals the 2-0 series lead.
News: Wilson scored a goal on three shots, adding three hits and a plus-2 rating in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win against the Hurricanes in Game 2 of their first-round series.
Impact: Wilson has a goal and an assist through two playoff games so far, as well as seven hits. He has mostly stayed on the legal side of the line when it comes to physicality this year while registering a career-best 40 points across 63 appearances. Wilson's first-line deployment makes him a favorable postseason fantasy option given his skill set.
News: Oshie scored a goal and dished a helper while adding three hits and three blocked shots in a 4-3 overtime win against the Hurricanes in Saturday's Game 2.
Impact: Oshie didn't put his name on the scoresheet in Game 1, but he made up for it with two points in this contest. He ended the regular season with 54 points (25 goals, 29 helpers) in 69 appearances, and will be counted on for secondary scoring during the playoff run. With more efforts like Game 2, he should have a good amount of fantasy value as well.
News: Backstrom scored a goal on four shots and added a helper in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win against the Hurricanes in Game 2 of their first-round series.
Impact: Backstrom has been on fire to open the series, scoring three times across the two games to pace the Capitals' offense. He's more noted as a playmaker, but fantasy owners will certainly appreciate the goals as well. Backstrom had 74 points in 80 contests this season, and he's living up to his first-line center role quite effectively so far in the playoffs.
News: Holtby stopped 25 of 28 shots in Saturday's 4-3 win over the Hurricanes in Game 2 of their first-round series.
Impact: It wasn't quite as strong as his Game 1 effort from Thursday, but Brooks Orpik slotted home a goal just 1:48 into the extra frame to help Holtby earn the win. Holtby will likely man the crease again Monday in Raleigh. He posted a 15-10-1 record with a 3.07 GAA and a .903 save percentage in 27 road appearances this season, including wins in both of his road games against the Hurricanes in the regular season.
News: Holtby will guard the goal in Saturday's Game 2 against the Hurricanes in Washington, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: Holtby was rock solid in Thursday's Game 1, turning aside 27 of 29 shots en route to a 4-2 victory. The 29-year-old netminder will look to stay sharp and help his team capture a commanding 2-0 series lead Saturday.
News: Kuznetsov recorded a power-play assist Thursday, as Washington held on to beat the Hurricanes 4-2 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
Impact: Kuz drew the primary assist on Nicklas Backstrom's second goal of the game, coming with Washington up a man. Kuznetsov has a history of being a big-time playoff performer, as the Russian piled up 32 points in 24 playoff games a season ago. We all know what that led to.
News: Orpik recorded an assist and seven hits over 17:27 of ice time in Thursday's 4-2 win over Carolina.
Impact: Orpik earned a secondary assist after gathering the loose puck behind Washington's net and advancing it to John Carlson, who found Nicklas Backstrom for the score. Thursday's point is the California native's first since earning an assist against the Hurricanes on March 28. Orpik's seven hits in this contest were a season high, giving him 131 over 53 games in this campaign.
News: Eller scored one goal on three shots over 19:36 of ice time in Thursday's 4-2 win over Carolina.
Impact: Eller's empty-net goal came 19:23 into the final period, with the Caps leading by one score. The point marks the center's second in three games and gives him 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists) over 81 games this season.
News: Wilson recorded an assist Thursday, as Washington defeated Carolina 4-2 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
Impact: The bruising forward, in the midst of a wild scramble in front of Carolina's net, actually kicked the puck to Alex Ovechkin, who subsequently deposited it into the visitors' net for his first of the postseason. In addition to his assist, Wilson played his typical physical brand of hockey, dishing out four hits in the Caps' Game 1 victory. Game 2 takes place Saturday.
News: Holtby finished Thursday's 4-2 win over Carolina in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series with 27 saves and two goals against.
Impact: The win gets the defending champs off on the right foot this postseason, something they failed to do in last season's Cup journey. For Holtby, the Caps' netminder is as battle-tested as they come, as far as goalies are concerned, so a performance like this to open a series is not a good sign for the underdog Hurricanes.
News: Carlson finished with three assists Thursday, as the Capitals defeated Carolina 4-2 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
Impact: After recording a career-high 33 power-play points this season, Thursday's win featured two more PP assists from Carlson, who was nothing short of dominant for 60 minutes. He and the Caps will now turn their focus to Saturday, as a win in Game 2 would give the defending champs a commanding 2-0 series lead.
News: Backstrom scored the game's first two goals, as Washington defeated Carolina 4-2 on Thursday in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
Impact: Backstrom's second goal was of the power-play variety and doubled Washington's lead before Alex Ovechkin stretched it to three prior to the end of the first period. Carolina would get to within one goal, but the Capitals would ultimately hold on for a critical Game 1 victory.
News: Ovechkin finished Thursday's win with a goal, as Washington defeated the Hurricanes 4-2 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
Impact: The Great Eight scored on one of his patented power-play one-timers, and because Carolina scored twice in the third, Ovechkin's goal actually wound up being the game-winner. He led all skaters in power-play ice time (6:07).
News: Dowd agreed to terms on a three-year, $2.25 million contract extension with Washington on Thursday.
Impact: Dowd was set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but has instead tied himself to the Capitals for three more years. He's coming off a career year, in which he set new personal bests in goals (eight) and game-winning goals (three). The Alabama native averaged just 10:18 of ice time this year and will likely continue to log similar minutes throughout the postseason.
News: Holtby will start in goal for Game 1 against the visiting Hurricanes on Thursday.
Impact: This is a rather obvious confirmation seeing as how Holtby led the Capitals to the franchise's first Stanley Cup win last year. However, recall that Philipp Grubauer -- who's since moved on to the Avalanche -- actually was Washington's starter to open the 2018 postseason. Holtby went 32-19-5 with a 2.82 GAA and .911 save percentage over 59 regular-season games. He snagged wins in all four appearances against Carolina.
News: Samsonov was promoted from AHL Hershey on Thursday.
Impact: The move will certainly raise some eyebrows, considering Hershey is bound for the Calder Cup Playoffs. Samsonov was splitting the Bears' netminding duties with Vitek Vanecek, so the minor-league club could be fine without him. Based on the Capitals' announcement, there is no indication that either Braden Holtby or Pheonix Copley is dealing with an injury, but rather this is simply a depth move in case of emergency.
News: Capitals coach Todd Reirden has no concerns about Eller (upper body) for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs versus the Hurricanes on Thursday, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: This is huge for Washington, as Eller -- with seven goals and 11 assists in the playoffs last season -- was a clutch performer in the process of generating three game-winning tallies, and he helped the Capitals clinch the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. He figures to be an underrated option for those of you wading in fantasy playoff pools.
News: Eller (upper body) was given a maintenance day Monday, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: Head coach Todd Reirden indicated Eller started Monday's practice, but given that the Capitals are not in action again until Thursday, the team elected to give him the day off. The Danish center is expected to be ready for Game 1 against the Hurricanes, but those in playoff fantasy formats should check back for further updates over the coming days.
News: Oshie (rest) participated in Monday's practice, JJ Regan of NBC Sports Washington reports.
Impact: Oshie was rested for Saturday's game against the Islanders and is expected to play in Game 1 of Washington's series against the Hurricanes. The 32-year-old will likely be a solid postseason fantasy option after producing 54 points in 69 games this campaign.
News: Carlson (rest) suited up in Monday's practice, JJ Regan of NBC Sports Washington reports.
Impact: Carlson was scratched for the final regular-season game Saturday against the Islanders, and is expected to play in Game 1 of Washington's series against Carolina. The 29-year-old will likely be one of the top defenseman options for the postseason following a whopping 70 points (33 on the power play) in 80 games this year.
News: Backstrom (rest) suited up for Monday's practice, JJ Regan of NBC Sports Washington reports.
Impact: Backstrom was rested for Saturday's game against the Islanders and is expected to play in Game 1 of Washington's series against the Hurricanes. The Swede will likely be an elite postseason fantasy option after producing 74 points in 80 games this campaign.
News: Walker was reassigned to AHL Hershey on Sunday, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Postt reports.
Impact: The move is presumably to make Walker available for AHL action before the Capitals begin their playoff run Thursday. The Australian winger could be back in the big leagues in fairly short order, as the roster limit and salary cap are irrelevant during the postseason.
News: Copley made 21 saves in a 3-0 loss to the Islanders on Saturday. He allowed two goals.
Impact: Copley has a strong record -- he's 16-7-3 in 24 starts. But his 2.94 GAA and .904 save percentage aren't encouraging. Copley's record is influenced by team play, but the Caps couldn't muster much Saturday.
News: Copley will command the crease in Saturday's home game against the Islanders, Tom Gulitti of NHL.com reports.
Impact: A particularly important nugget from Gulitti -- as relayed by head coach Todd Reirden -- is that Copley is going to play the full game. That's not always an apparent distinction for starting netminders at this time of year, and fantasy owners should consider exploiting the advantage in daily formats. Copley is 16-6-3 with a 2.94 GAA and .904 save percentage through 26 games; he'd previously only appeared in two contests over a pair of seasons with the Blues. The Capitals have already clinched the Metropolitan Division, while the Isles are only three points back.
News: Carlson will be rested for Saturday's regular-season finale against the Islanders, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: This opens up playing time for rookie Jonas Siegenthaler ahead of Washington's quarterfinal playoff series. Carlson caps (excuse the pun) off the regular season with a career-high 70 points (13 goals, 57 assists) to complement 33 power-play points through 80 games.
News: As expected, Backstrom (rest) won't play Saturday against the Islanders, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: Backstrom will get a break ahead of the Stanley Cup quarterfinals against the Hurricanes. The elite playmaker finishes the regular season with 22 goals and 52 assists -- including 25 power-play points -- over 80 games.
News: Oshie (rest) is expected to miss the regular-season finale against the Islanders on Saturday, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: Barring a late lineup change by coach Todd Reirden, it appears that Oshie's regular-season campaign will come to a close with the winger having compiled 25 goals and 29 assists -- including 14 power-play points -- over 69 games. The crafty offensive contributor should be a key factor in the opening playoff series against the Hurricanes or Blue Jackets.
News: Backstrom wore a white jersey at morning skate Saturday, which suggests that he could miss the regular-season finale against the Islanders for rest, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: We'll be looking out for official confirmation from the Capitals that Backstrom will be rested in the final regular-season showdown, but it certainly appears that he's trending that way since Khurshudyan notes that top-six, power-play participants at morning skate usually wear red.
News: Washington recalled Walker from AHL Hershey on Friday.
Impact: The Capitals will likely be resting some key players Saturday, so Walker may get an opportunity to draw into the lineup against the Islanders. The 25-year-old has notched 34 points in 54 AHL appearances this season.
News: Nardella signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals on Friday.
Impact: Nardella posted eight goals and 34 points with the Fighting Irish this season, finishing his NCAA career with 103 points in 147 games. The Hobey Baker nominee is likely to report to AHL Hershey in the short term.
News: Samsonov stopped all 17 shots in AHL Hershey's 4-0 shutout of Toronto on Thursday.
Impact: After an extremely slow start to the season, Samsonov has been much better the past couple of months. His overall numbers remain mediocre (19-13-2, 2.68 GAA, .898 save percentage), but there have definitely been some positive signs of late as the 2018-19 season comes to a close. With Braden Holtby signed for one more season at a $6.1 million cap hit and Pheonix Copley playing well as his backup, Samsonov will almost certainly be right back in Hershey to begin the 2019-20 campaign.
News: Burakovksy recorded an assist, two shots and three hits during Thursday's 2-1 victory over the Canadiens.
Impact: Burakovsky's helper ended a seven-game scoring drought that was a significant blemish on an otherwise impressive performance since the beginning of February (six goals, 13 points in 31 games) for the third-line winger. The 24-year-old will need to produce more consistently if he is to garner a more significant role in the postseason.
News: Hagelin tallied an assist and three shots during Thursday's 2-1 victory over the Canadiens.
Impact: Hagelin has posted three assists over his last six games as he continues to get more and more comfortable in his new home of DC. The Swedish winger has managed five goals and 19 points in 57 games with the Capitals, Kings, and Penguins this season.
News: Eller tallied a goal, three shots and three hits during Thursday's 2-1 win over the Canadiens.
Impact: Eller snapped a six-game scoring drought with the marker, bringing him to 13 goals and 36 points in 80 games. The Danish center has consecutive 30-point seasons with the Capitals in addition to providing valuable minutes on the penalty kill.
News: Holtby turned aside 33 of 34 shots faced during Thursday's 2-1 home win over the Canadiens.
Impact: Holtby was marvelous from the get-go and did his part to backstop the Capitals to their fifth straight Metropolitan Division title. The 29-year-old netminder is likely to start the regular-season finale against the Islanders on Saturday as the Caps look to stay hot and defend their title as Stanley Cup champions.
News: Holtby will get the start at home against the Canadiens on Thursday, JJ Regan of NBC Sports Washington reports.
Impact: Holtby has been dazzling of late with a 1.75 GAA and .941 save percentage in his last four games. The 29-year-old will look to get the Capitals back in the win column and clinch the Metropolitan Division title against a Montreal team desperate to keep its playoff hopes alive.
News: Priskie will not sign with the Capitals and will become a free agent Aug. 15, JJ Regan of NBC Sports Washington reports.
Impact: Per Regan, Priskie is using a provision of the CBA afforded to college players drafted at the age of 20 or older that allows them to become unrestricted free agents if they are unsigned after Aug. 15 of their graduation year. Following a 17-goal, 39-point campaign that garnered Hobey Baker Trophy consideration, the 23-year-old defenseman has understandably decided to write his own ticket after a successful NCAA career. The Florida native should have no shortage of suitors but will likely need some time to adjust to the rigors of the pro game before being much of a fantasy asset in standard formats.
News: Siegenthaler was called up from AHL Hershey on Wednesday.
Impact: Expect to see a lot more of Siegenthaler at the top level with Michal Kempny (hamstring) out 4-6 months. The rookie has fashioned four assists to complement a plus-7 rating through 25 NHL games.
News: Kempny has undergone surgery for a torn left hamstring and will be sidelined for 4-6 months.
Impact: Kempny will end his 2018-19 campaign with 25 points -- six goals and 19 assists -- and a plus-24 rating over 71 contests. In just the first year of a four-year contract with the Capitals, the 28-year-old Czech should remain a key piece for the club defensively in 2019-20.
News: Oshie picked up two assists in Monday's 5-3 loss to the Panthers.
Impact: The Caps were down 4-0 after two periods, but Oshie helped spark a futile rally, notching the primary helper on goals 74 seconds apart late in the third. The veteran winger now has 25 goals and 54 points through 68 games, leaving him two points shy of his best showing yet in a Washington uniform with two games remaining on the schedule.
News: Copley turned aside 29 of 33 shots in Monday's 5-3 loss to the Panthers.
Impact: Florida's final goal came into an empty net. The Caps were asleep in all three zones for the first 40 minutes, sticking Copley with a 4-0 deficit heading into the third period, but he did hold down the fort while they staged a rally that eventually fell short. With the club nearly locked into the top spot in the Metropolitan Division -- it's three points up on the Islanders, with each team having two games left to play -- Copley could get one more start in order to snatch a bit of extra rest for Braden Holtby before the playoffs.
News: Connolly (illness) is in the lineup for Monday's tilt in Florida.
Impact: Fortunately, Connolly missed just one game with the ailment. The 6-foot-3 winger has a career-high 45 points during his breakout 2018-19 campaign. He will slot back into his normal middle-six role.