The Washington Capitals will again be shorthanded when they take on the Florida Panthers on Friday afternoon.
Head coach Peter Laviolette said in his pre-game press conference that Conor Sheary will miss his third straight game as he deals with a day-to-day upper-body injury he suffered in warm-ups against Seattle. Sheary took the ice briefly before Wednesday’s morning skate but left before it started.
In addition, T.J. Oshie will miss Friday’s tilt and remains on the injured reserve after suffering an injury unrelated to his last one after returning for Saturday’s tilt against San Jose. Lars Eller, who skated at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Thursday, will also be out for Friday’s tilt. He had been quarantining in Anaheim after entering the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on the West Coast trip.
Nicklas Backstrom remains out and on the LTIR, but is showing progress. He skated with the team in a no-contact jersey on Wednesday and also took the ice on Thanksgiving.
READ MORE ON WHN: Backstrom Takes The Ice For First Time With Capitals
A tough loss will be on the blue line, though. The Capitals’ defense has been clicking so far this season and hasn’t seen change while the forward lines have seen quite a few shuffles. Now, it will see Justin Schultz draw out as he remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury he suffered on Wednesday against Montreal.
Washington will run with the same forward lineup they had dressed against the Habs. Meanwhile, Dennis Cholowski fills in for Schultz on the right side. He had a shaky debut against the Kraken, but hopefully, getting a recent game in will lead to better results Friday.
Ilya Samsonov will start between the pipes again for his second straight game, per Laviolette.
Here are the lines the Capitals ran with on Wednesday:
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Aliaksei Protas
Daniel Sprong-Connor McMichael-Tom Wilson
Carl Hagelin-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway
Beck Malenstyn-Mike Sgarbossa-Brett Leason
Martin Fehervary-John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen
Trevor van Riemsdyk-Justin Schultz (imagine Cholowski draws in here)