For their first half of a back-to-back, the Capitals have scrambled their fourth line yet again.
Coming off an agonizing 5-4 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers, it’s Dmitrij Jaskin who’s been asked to stay in the press box, as Devante Smith-Pelly returns to the fourth line featuring Nic Dowd and Chandler Stephenson.
Caps expected lineup:
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) February 11, 2019
When asked about why he switched out the Russian born forward, Todd Reirden, annoyed, pointed out a goal during the Panthers game that he thought Jaskin was responsible for.
I asked Reirden about Jaskin getting scratched again: "I use him at the end of a penalty kill and then it ends up in the back of our net. Those are situations where we have to find people that can be used in all different areas of the game, especially back-to-backs."
— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) February 11, 2019
It appears Reirden is referring to Frank Vatrano’s first-period goal that came right as TJ Oshie’s tripping penalty expired. Jaskin fails to clear the puck, allowing Vatrano to wrist a shot home from the slot.
The goal gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Jaskin scored most recently against the Calgary Flames on February 1, and has shuffled in and out of the lineup throughout the season, playing in only 34 games. As Peter addressed earlier, the Caps need to get serious about who will play consistently on the fourth line, and it appears Jaskin might not be in those plans.
Meanwhile, Pheonix Copley will start in goal against the Kings on the first half of this back-to-back, and it’s assumed Braden Holtby will get the nod against the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday. Copley’s most recent start came in a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
The cellar-dwelling Kings are turning it around a bit, having picked up at least one point in their last four games.
Kings on the ice at Capital One Arena:
It doesn't look like Carter is skating.
— Curtis Zupke (@curtiszupke) February 11, 2019
Jonathan Quick will start in net.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
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