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Saturday Caps Clips: Capitals @ Lightning Game Day

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: The Caps head to Tampa, Burakovsky returns from injury, Hershey is getting healthy and more.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Previews of tonight's visit from Tampa Bay from Vogs (plus game notes), AP and Peerless, and be sure to visit our SB Nation pals over at Raw Charge for the other side of tonight's matchup.
  • Dear Coach Trotz: #FreeNate88. Please and thank you. [RMNB]
  • Welcome back Burra! Andre Burakovsky practiced in full with the team and is expected to play in his regular spot on the third line tonight. [NHL.com, WaPo, CSNMA, RMNB, NoVa Caps]
  • Burakovsky’s injury highlights the price that players (and their teams) pay to block shots. [WaPo]
  • To make room on the roster (and under the salary cap), Jakub Vrana has been re-assigned to Hershey. [Caps Today, WaPo]
  • Hershey head coach Troy Mann will have a plethora of player options:
  • Along with the return of Vrana, Madison Bowey and Dustin Gazely have also returned from injury. Bowey played last night and may only play two of this weekend’s three games; Gazely will serve as the team’s 13th forward and may see more press box time. [Chocolate Hockey (and again),
  • Additionally, Jonas Siegenthaler’s ZSC Lions team is done for the year after falling to HC Lugano 4 games to 2 in the first round of the Swiss League playoffs. He could be returning to Central Pennsylvania within the week. [NoVa Caps, RMNB]
  • There are a few players NOT headed to Hershey, at least not yet:
  • Connor Hobbs had two assists last night in the Regina Pats’ 7-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. That brings him to 30-54-84, plus-28 in 66GP, and this interesting note:
  • The Pats are the regular season champs of both the Eastern Conference and the entire Western Hockey League. The Calgary Hitmen will be their first-round opponents when the WHL playoffs begin next weekend. Calgary clinched the second wild-card spot last night with a 6-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice, with a little help from another Caps prospect:
  • As an NCAA student-athlete, Shane Gersich isn’t eligible to play for Hershey anyway, but he won’t be available for a while yet as #11-seed North Dakota scrapped out a 1-0 victory over #1-seed Denver to advance to the NCHC championship game tomorrow vs. the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. This victory also earned the Fighting Sioux Hawks an invite to the NCAA tournament.
  • Congrats are in order for Ted Leonsis and his Monumental team. Monumental Sports Network is a 2017 nominee for a sports media industry award for the following category - “Over the top (OTT) Content Service: Recognizing the app/service with a proven ability to delivery of sports’ video, audio and other media content over the web without a multiple system operator being involved in the control or distribution of the content.” Their fellow nominees are some of the industry’s heavy hitters (MLBAM, NFL, Olympics, WWE, etc.) [Cynopsis]
  • Finally, happy 39th birthday to Jan Bulis, happy 33rd to Jonas Johansson, happy 45th to Craig Johnson, and happy 43rd to Brantt Myhres.