The Washington Capitals will look to extend their first-round series lead over the Florida Panthers on home ice in Game Four.
Tom Wilson did not participate in the Capitals’ morning skate and appears set to miss his third-straight game due to a lower-body injury.
Rookie forward Connor McMichael, who claimed Wilson’s vacated roster spot in Game Three, will remain in the lineup. McMichael got his first taste of NHL playoff action on Saturday, skating 8:35 of ice time on the left wing of the third line.
The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell had the news on Wilson’s absence at the Capitals’ morning skate and how the rest of the team looked outside of McMichael’s inclusion.
“It was really cool. It was honestly more than I could have imagined,” McMichael said of his postseason debut. “The crowd brought a lot of energy last night. Even when we got out there for warmups the rink was pretty packed so it was fun to be a part of. It was great that we got the win.”
McMichael didn’t exactly fill up the scoresheet in the game but he was solid enough and more importantly, his inclusion allowed head coach Peter Laviolette and the rest of his staff to reunite their uber-successful fourth line of Johan Larsson, Nic Dowd, and Garnet Hathaway. Those three dominated at five-on-five in Game Three, only allowing a single Florida scoring chance while recording five of their own.
After a dominant performance in his first-ever playoff victory, Ilya Samsonov will return to the starter’s net for Game Four according to The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir. Samsonov made 29 stops on 30 shots and according to MoneyPuck is now the fourth-best goaltender in the first round in terms of goals saved above expected (+3.0).
— RMNB (@rmnb) May 9, 2022
On the Florida side of the ice, the Panthers did not make a single change in their lineup at their Sunday practice.
#FlaPanthers practice lines:
Huberdeau – Barkov – Duclair
Verhaeghe – Bennett – Reinhart
Marchment – Lundell – Giroux
Acciari – Luostarinen – Hornqvist
Lomberg – Thornton – Mamin
Weegar – Ekblad
Forsling – Gudas
Chiarot – Montour
Hagg – Lindbohm
— Jameson Olive (@JamesonCoop) May 8, 2022
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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