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Matt Niskanen | Defenseman | #2

Team: Washington Capitals
Age / DOB:  (31) / 12/6/1986
Ht / Wt:  6'1' / 203
Drafted: 2005 / Rd. 1 (28) / DAL
Contract: view contract details

Latest News

Recent News

Matt Niskanen knows the Capitals have to neutralize Vegas' speed and take care of the puck.
"Clog it up," Niskanen said. "They're a fast team and you don't want to let them off to the races, so slow it down without the puck and speed it up with it." Both teams have strong transition games that feed off turnovers. Vegas is the league-leader in takeaways (159) during the playoffs, while Washington ranks third (136). The Capitals blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning in Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference Final by making it tough for them in the neutral zone. May 28 - 3:02 PM

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Matt Niskanen was not pleased with himself after the Capitals 3-2 loss on Saturday.

Niskanen was on the ice for all three Tampa Bay goals and blamed himself for the loss. "First three goals are all my fault," Niskanen said. "I had a tough first 20:30 so I've got to be better next game." The usually reliable defenseman is part of the top pairing with Dmitry Orlov and knows they will have to be better for Game 6 Monday. "A lot of people counted us out when we were down 0-2 in the first round. Things got hard in the last series where we could have melted and we just kept playing. So that's what we've got to do again, bring our best effort for Game 6 at home, win a game and then we'll go from there. But we're focused on bringing our best game of the season for Game 6 and we'll be ready to go."
May 20 - 6:47 AM

Matt Niskanen contributed one assist in Tuesday's 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Niskanen also had two hits and three blocks in 21:24 of ice time. He has earned two helpers in the last two games. Niskanen has produced one goal and six points in 15 playoff matches.
May 16 - 10:08 AM

The Washington Capitals suffered a 3-1 loss in Thursday's Game 4 matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Trailing by a goal with over a minute to play, the Capitals decided to pull Braden Holtby but two men jumped on the ice instead of just one. The officials didn't notice at first but when Matt Niskanen tried to sneak off the ice, the play was blown dead, killing any chance the Capitals had at a comeback. The Capitals will now head back to Washington with the series tied at two with Game 5 scheduled for Saturday.
May 3 - 10:23 PM

Matt Niskanen notched a goal and an assist in Sunday afternoon's 4-3 loss to Vegas.

Nikanen assisted on a goal by Chandler Stephenson to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead and he gave the team a 2-1 with his fourth marker of the year in the second period. However, the Golden Knights kept battling back and eventually got the game winner late in the third. Nicklas Backstrom had the other goal for Washington in the loss.
Feb 4 - 3:20 PM

Matt Niskanen (upper body) will be back in the lineup on Sunday.

Niskanen missed one game with upper-body injury and he's ready to return for Washington's matinee match versus St. Louis.
Jan 7 - 1:12 PM

Matt Niskanen (upper body) is looking as if he will be able to return to the Washington lineup Sunday against St. Louis.

He was taking rushes alongside Dmitry Orlov without restrictions Saturday morning and should be good to go for Sunday afternoon's home clash with the Blues. If you need Niskanen, get ready to activate him.
Jan 6 - 12:00 PM

Matt Niskanen (upper body) partially participated in Thursday's practice.

Niskanen wasn't a part of the Capitals' top three pairings and didn't stay on for the full skate. It's a step in the right direction, but his availability for Sunday's game remains uncertain.
Jan 4 - 11:07 AM

Matt Niskanen is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Niskanen didn't practice Sunday for maintenance and he didn't skate again on Monday. That is when the Capitals revealed his injury. Niskanen may not be available to play Tuesday night against Carolina.
Jan 1 - 11:40 AM

Matt Niskanen registered two assists in the Capitals' 5-3 win against Boston on Thursday.

Niskanen has recorded at least a point in four of his last five games. He's up to two goals and 10 points in 20 contests this season.
Fri, Dec 15, 2017 08:17:00 AM

Matt Niskanen is ready to return from a hand injury on Tuesday night.

Coach Barry Trotz plans to ease Niskanen back into the lineup, but he could see his typical 20-plus minutes of playing time if there aren't any issues. Niskanen was paired with Dmitry Orlov during the morning skate.
Tue, Nov 14, 2017 02:24:00 PM

Matt Niskanen (hand) isn't ready to return yet.

Niskanen been cleared for "some contact, but he's not full totally out of the woods there," coach Barry Trotz said. The Capitals bench boss added that Niskanen will travel with the team for a two-game road trip, but it's unclear if he will be available to play.
Sun, Nov 12, 2017 02:33:00 PM

Matt Niskanen (hand) was on the ice on Friday, but wasn't using a stick.

Obviously, Niskanen needs to be able to demonstrate that he can stickhandle before he'll return to the lineup. He's eligible to be activated off the long-term injured reserve on Nov. 7, but it seems very unlikely that he'll be ready by that date.
Fri, Nov 3, 2017 01:05:00 PM

Matt Niskanen (hand) has been skating with the team's strength and conditioning coach before practices.

Niskanen isn't eligible to come off long-term injured reserve until Nov. 7, but he may not be available to play at that time. He still hasn't been able to join the Capitals for practice.
Tue, Oct 31, 2017 05:45:00 PM

Matt Niskanen will not be eligible to return to action before November 7th.

The Capitals placed him on the long-term injury list which requires a minimum 10-game absence. Niskanen could be out even longer with what appears to be a rather serious upper-body injury. Reserve him immediately.
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 11:35:00 AM

Depth Charts

All Positions
C1Nicklas Backstrom
2Evgeny Kuznetsov
3Lars Eller
4Jay Beagle
5Chandler Stephenson
LW1Alex Ovechkin
2Brett Connolly
3Jakub Vrana
4Nathan Walker
RW1T.J. Oshie
2Andre Burakovsky
3Tom Wilson
4Alex Chiasson
5Anthony Peluso
6Devante Smith-Pelly
7Travis Boyd
D1John Carlson
2Matt Niskanen
3Dmitry Orlov
4Brooks Orpik
5Christian Djoos
6Michal Kempny
7Madison Bowey
8Jakub Jerabek
G1Braden Holtby
2Philipp Grubauer
3Pheonix Copley