The Washington Capitals are getting a key pice of the lineup back and are almost fully healthy, as Dmitry Orlov will return to the lineup for the Capitals’ Saturday tilt with the Montreal Canadiens after missing the last two games with a lower-body injury.
Orlov is on the ice for warmups up north in Canada with puck drop at 7 p.m. ET.
It is unclear what the exact nature of the injury was or how it happened. However, Orlov first missed Tuesday’s 9-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers and then sat out for Thursday’s tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He skated on Friday and also took part in rushes at the team’s morning skate.
It appears that the lines are likely to stay the same as they were last game, with the exception of Orlov’s return. With him back in the mix, Trevor van Riemsdyk will return to his spot on the third pairing alongside Justin Schultz. Matt Irwin will draw back out as a healthy scratch.
Here are the likely line combinations for Washington against the Habs:
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Conor Sheary
Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie
Anthony Mantha-Lars Eller-Tom Wilson
Johan Larsson-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway
Martin Fehervary-John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen
Trevor van Riemsdyk-Justin Schultz
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Vitek Vanecek will start between the pipes for the Capitals.
Through 68 games this season, the 30-year-old blueliner has a career-high 11 goals. He has also added 19 assists and is a plus-21. Orlov and Nick Jensen have formed one of the Capitals’ most dynamic pairings this season, playing a shutdown game in their own end and moving the puck efficiently up ice.