From this morning’s skate, it appears that forward Jay Beagle will return to active play, taking the place of Jakub Vrana. As reported yesterday, Barry Trotz will stick with Philipp Grubauer in net.
Here’s how they lined up on Sunday morning, per Tarik El-Bashir:
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Wilson
Burakovsky – Backstrom – Oshie
Connolly – Eller – DSP
Stephenson – Beagle – Chiasson
Kempny – Carlson
Orlov – Niskanen
Orpik – Jerabek
Beagle, 32, has missed time since April 1 due to an upper-body injury. He fully participated in practice on Saturday. He slots in for Jakub Vrana, 22, who joins Shane Gersich and Travis Boyd as a healthy scratch among forwards.
Vrana played under seven minutes in Game One, when he was on ice for two Blue Jackets goals and was out-attempted nine to five. He also recorded the primary assist on Devante Smith-Pelly’s goal.
Devante Smith-Pelly gives the Caps back the lead.
What a pass by Jakub Vrana! pic.twitter.com/DuwfKVyq2e
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) April 13, 2018
The third line we saw this morning has possessed 52.9 percent of shot attempts in just under 40 minutes of play. The fourth line, rarely used on offensive-zone faceoffs, has possessed 45.8 percent of shot attempts in 124 minutes of play.
Beagle’s deployment has been remarkable this season. Due to his faceoff acumen (he’s won 58 percent, fifth highest in the league), Beagle starts most shifts with defensive-zone faceoffs, including many “cameo” shifts with other lines. Beagle wins those faceoffs well, but the team tends to get trounced afterwards.
The Capitals won just four of their 21 defensive-zone faceoffs in Game One. Nicklas Backstrom went oh-for-seven, Lars Eller one-for-six, and Evgeny Kuznetsov one-for-four.
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