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Capitals Game Day

Capitals-Panthers Game 2: Brett Leason Recalled With Tom Wilson Hurt, Lines Shuffle



Capitals forward Brett Leason

With Tom Wilson’s status still up in the air for Game 2, the Washington Capitals shook up the forward lines and promoted Brett Leason up from the Hershey Bears as the team braces for their second game of the series against the Florida Panthers.

After skating just 1:31 minutes in the first period, Wilson suffered a lower-body injury in the victory. Per head coach Peter Laviolette on Wednesday, Wilson was receiving treatment and is a game-time decision for Game 2. No. 43 did not take the ice for the morning skate, though, and Washington called up Leason as a potential fill-in. The Capitals elected to go that route rather than insert Connor McMichael or Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, their two extras to end the regular season.

Towering at 6-5, Leason is a good substitute and can bring size and strength to the table that the team may be missing with Wilson. With Wilson out, Washington also had to do some line shuffling to insert Leason. Leason took Garnet Hathaway’s spot on the powerhouse fourth line alongside Johan Larsson and Nic Dowd, while Hathaway got a promotion.

If Leason plays, this will be his playoff debut. The rookie made his NHL debut back on Oct. 29, 2021, and had six points in 36 games in the regular season.

Here are what the lines looked like, per the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell:

Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Conor Sheary

Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie

Anthony Mantha-Lars Eller-Garnet Hathaway

Johan Larsson-Nic Dowd-Brett Leason

Martin Fehervary-John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen

Trevor van Riemsdyk-Justin Schultz

Vitek Vanecek, Ilya Samsonov and Zach Fucale were the three Capitals goalies on the ice. Given Vanecek’s strong Game 1, he is expected to also get the call for Game 2.

READ MORE ON WHN: Vanecek Steals Show In Capitals Game 1 Victory Over Florida

When it comes to players to watch, keep an eye on Anthony Mantha. The 27-year-old had an outstanding showing in the series opener, leading Washington with five shots and a whopping 10 hits. He also dished an assist for his third playoff point in six postseason outings with the Capitals.

On the Florida side of the coin, look out for Sam Bennett, who struck last game and also showcased his wicked shot. Sergei Bobrovsky is also sure to bring his A-Game once again as the Panthers look to even the series before heading to D.C. for Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Monday.

The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. ET at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise. All games will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington locally.

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