The Washington Capitals will take on the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. And they will do so with a different lineup.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, who is having a career year in Hershey, will skate on the Capitals’ third line with Lars Eller and Connor McMichael. Daniel Sprong, who has been playing some good hockey lately, appears set to be a healthy scratch.
Garnet Hathaway, off his sweet pass to Alex Ovechkin, will remain on the Capitals’ first line. Martin Fehervary and Nick Jensen will skate on the Capitals’ first pairing with Dmitry Orlov suspended and John Carlson out due to COVID protocol. Michal Kempny will get back into the lineup and skate on the third pairing with Trevor van Riemsdyk.
The defensive-minded Jonsson-Fjallby, who played well during his previous eight games in Washington (9 shots), has impressed in Hershey this season, posting 21 points (10g, 11a) in 26 games. Laviolette explained after the skate that he liked the production of AJF and Lars Eller together earlier in the NHL season and wanted to see it again tonight.
Meanwhile, Sprong has no points in his last five games after posting goals in three of five during a stretch from December 15 through January 7. During the Capitals’ game against Boston last week, Sprong had a 73% expected goals percentage but was on the ice for a Bruins’ 5v5 goal against.
The game is significant for Jonsson-Fjallby, a 23-year-old Swedish prospect. If Jonsson-Fjallby plays in another game beyond tonight, he will have to be placed on waivers again to be sent down to AHL Hershey per NBCSWSH’s JJ Regan as he will have played in 10 games total.
AJF was claimed in September by the Buffalo Sabres when the Capitals cut the bottom-six forward from their Training Camp roster. The Capitals managed to nab him back when the Sabres tried to send AJF to the minors before Opening Night rosters were due.
The Capitals, fresh off their first overtime win of the season, will be looking for only their third win in the last eight games and revenge against the Bruins who beat them 7-3 last Monday.
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