In his pregame media availability, head coach Todd Reirden has confirmed that defender Nick Jensen will make his debut as a Washington Capital in today’s game against the New York Rangers.
Jensen will initially pair with Brooks Orpik, replacing Christian Djoos in the lineup.
The forward lines are mostly unchanged, except for Travis Boyd replacing Chandler Stephenson on the fourth line. Here’s how they look:
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Wilson
Vrana – Backstrom – Oshie
Burakovsky – Eller – Connolly
Hagelin – Dowd – Boyd
Kempny – Carlson
Orlov – Niskanen
Orpik – Jensen
In his media availability, Reirden says he is easing Jensen into the lineup with a veteran.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 24, 2019
Who Jensen replaces in the lineup long-term is an open and sensitive question, as I addressed on Saturday:
Adding Jensen to the lineup does not come without risk though. When the Capitals added Kevin Shattenkirk two years ago, his appearances came at the cost of Nate Schmidt, then a promising, underused player, rather than Karl Alzner, a big-minute veteran who could no longer keep up. I worry that Jensen will have a similar effect on Christian Djoos and Brooks Orpik. Orpik, 38, has done well in a small role this season, but sheltering him has come at the cost of Niskanen’s workload.
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