Protas A Healthy Scratch vs. Predators As Capitals Ponder Roster Decisions
Aliaksei Protas is not in the Washington Capitals lineup on Friday and could be among the first cuts as Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson return.
WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals face some cuts with Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson closing in on returns, and it looks like Aliaksei Protas may be among the odd men out.
Protas is a healthy scratch against the Nashville Predators on Friday as the Capitals will get a glimpse at the lineup without him in the mix for the first time this season. He had played 41 games up to this point, registering 10 points.
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The Belarus native turned 22 on Friday, and it is possible that he could be sent down to the AHL's Hershey Bears soon to make space for either Backstrom or Wilson when they're ready to return. Protas is the only waiver-exempt player on the roster, so assigning him would make the most sense as he wouldn't be at risk to get claimed.
Anthony Mantha is taking his spot on the fourth line with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway.