In his pregame media availability, Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette announced that forward Jakob Vrana will not play in Friday night’s game. For the first time this season, Vrana will be a healthy scratch.
Richard Panik will return to active play.
Vrana, 25, has 10 goals and 13 assists through 35 games. His ice time has diminished sharply in recent weeks, dipping near 10 minutes per night at times.
Laviolette told the press he hopes the scratching “will reignite a fire inside of his game and start to push him in the right direction.”
He added that “We’ve had many conversations just about his play with regard to the competitiveness of it and the speed of it. He is a very skilled player but there are other aspects of the game that are very important… We’re looking for a higher level of play.”
Panik, 30, has not played since March 28.
The Capitals will play in New Jersey at 7 PM.
Screenshot courtesy of NBC Sports Washington
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