Update: Nic Dowd did not take the ice during warmups and will not play against the Sabres. The Caps will go with eleven forwards and seven defensemen. Connor McMichael moves back to center.
The Washington Capitals hit the ice Friday for their morning skate in Buffalo before taking on the Sabres at KeyBank Center. After dropping two straight on home ice in regulation, head coach Peter Laviolette has shaken up his team.
Among the changes according to The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell, is the return of Nic Dowd, who has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury. He will take up his usual position between Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Garnet Hathaway on the Caps energy line.
Here is how the rest of Laviolette’s new lineup has shaken out via Pell.
Defenseman Matt Irwin is the other new addition to the group as he replaces Michal Kempny with Trevor van Riemsdyk still shelved on injured reserve. Irwin played 29 seconds of total ice time against the Blues this past week and his last game with meaningful time on ice came on January 28 in Dallas.
The other notable changes include Conor Sheary being bumped back into the top-six with Tom Wilson moving to a third line that now features Connor McMichael on the wing instead of at center. TJ Oshie is still skating with the team but once again got in extra work with the scratches.
Well, he’s skating, but as an extra during line rushes just now. https://t.co/YAY91R0j9h
— John Walton (@JohnWaltonPxP) March 25, 2022
Stepping back into the cage for the first time in a week will be Ilya Samsonov as Pell reports the Russian netminder was first off the ice at the skate. The Caps play at home against the New Jersey Devils tomorrow so we can assume Vitek Vanecek will retake the net then.
The Sabres still dwell at the bottom of the NHL’s Atlantic Division but they have won three games in a row coming into Friday night’s action.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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