Defenseman Matt Niskanen is not expected to play against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, and the Washington Capitals will have to change their defensive pairings accordingly. Niskanen did participate in his first morning skate after sustaining a scary upper-body injury during Thursday’s 3-1 victory over the Hurricanes but is still listed as day-to-day.
The Capitals’ forward lines remain the same. Pheonix Copley will get the start in net, giving Braden Holtby the night off. Copley got his first career shutout against the bottom-dwelling Senators the last time these two teams met.
Jaskin and Boyd are extras.
Niskanen was on the ice, but he isn’t anymore.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) December 29, 2018
On the blueline, the first pairing of John Carlson and Michal Kempny stays the same. Madison Bowey will jump into Niskanen’s spot and join Dmitry Orlov on the second pairing.
The Capitals will lean heavily on their first two pairings as the team turns to rookies Jonas Siegenthaler and Tyler Lewington for their last pair. Siegenthaler and Lewington both made their NHL debuts this season and could pose matchup issues for head coach Todd Reirden.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
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