The Washington Capitals lost TJ Oshie to injury, likely longterm, after getting boarded in the third period of Game Four.
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan has responded by calling up Devante Smith-Pelly from the Hershey Bears. DSP had 14 points in 20 games with the Bears after being sent down in February. The forward tallied a hat trick in March against the Hartford Wolf Pack.
In a corresponding move, the Capitals sent down goaltender Vitek Vanecek.
Smith-Pelly famously scored goals (7) in the 2018 playoffs and lit the lamp in three straight games during the Stanley Cup Final. It frankly just hasn’t felt right without DSP here.
DSP! DSP! DSP! pic.twitter.com/aI6YXulb57
— Ineligible Receiver (@chelley449) April 19, 2019
Smith-Pelly can penalty kill and could fill in on the Capitals’ bottom six to allow another skill forward to jump up and replace Oshie on the right side on the second line.
The Capitals will host an optional skate this afternoon where we may learn more about Oshie’s injury and DSP’s potential usage.
— Danny (@recordsANDradio) April 19, 2019
More from the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals have recalled forward Devante Smith-Pelly from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) and re-assigned goaltender Vitek Vanecek to Hershey, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Smith-Pelly, 26, has recorded eight points (4g, 4a) in 54 games with the Capitals this season. In 20 games with Hershey, the 6’0″, 223-pound forwarded recorded 14 points (6g, 8a), including a hat trick on March 10 against the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Smith-Pelly collected 16 points (7g, 9a) in a career-high 75 games with the Capitals last season. During the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup run, Smith-Pelly was tied for fourth on the Capitals in goals (7) and scored in three-straight games in the Stanley Cup Final against Vegas. Additionally, Smith-Pelly scored the series-clinching goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against Columbus. In 48 career playoff games, Smith-Pelly has 13 goals, and his 0.27 goals per game rating is tied for the 47th-highest in the NHL among active players with at least 45 career playoff games. Since joining Washington in 2017-18, the Scarborough, Ont., native has 24 points (11g, 13a) in 129 regular season games.
Smith-Pelly has recorded 101 points (44g, 57a) in 395 career NHL games with Anaheim, Montreal, New Jersey and Washington.
Smith-Pelly was drafted by Anaheim in the second round, 42nd overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft.
Vanecek, 23, has posted a record of 21-10-6 with a 2.62 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in 38 games with the Bears this season. The 6’1″, 190-pound goaltender was named to the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic Atlantic Division team and was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 21. In that span, Vanecek posted a 2-0-1 record with a 1.62 goals against average and a .949 save percentage, stopping 94 of 99 shots in three road starts. The Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic, native has allowed two or fewer goals in 19 games this season.
In 110 career games with the Bears, Vanecek has a 52-33-24 record with a 2.69 goals against average, a .903 save percentage and nine shutouts.
The Capitals selected Vanecek with their second round pick, 39th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
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