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2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Capitals-Panthers Game 4: Samsonov, Caps Look To Stick To Game Plan vs. FLA

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Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov

ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals know they have a tall task at hand as they host the Florida Panthers for Game 4. A 3-1 series over the Presidents’ Trophy winner is on the line, and Washington knows that Florida will come out swinging after a disappointing 6-1 loss in Game 3.

In fact, Nick Jensen would argue that it will be the most important game of the year for both teams.

“We got to be ready for again their best game of the year. They’re fighting, a limited amount of games. They don’t wanna go down 3-1. This is gonna be their most desperate game of the year,” Jensen said. “And they’re gonna be playing as hard as they can and we gotta match that intensity. It’s gonna be tough. I mean, it was great getting a win in your building and going up in the series but this is going to be the toughest game we played all year for sure.”

Washington heads into Game 4 with a set game plan, and the team is pretty much sticking to what worked in Game 3. Tom Wilson will be out again as he remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Here are what the forward lines looked like at Monday’s morning skate at MedStar Capitals Iceplex:

Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-Anthony Mantha

Connor McMichael-Lars Eller-Conor Sheary

Johan Larsson-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Martin Fehervary-John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen

Trevor van Riemsdyk-Justin Schultz

The team also has its starting goaltender locked in. After an outstanding performance in Game 3, Ilya Samsonov will get the call again for Monday. The 25-year-old put on a show in his first start of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, stopping 29 of 30 shots and shutting down the high-octane Cats en route to his first career playoff victory.

READ MORE ON WHN: McMichael Confident After Playoff Debut, ‘A Lot More Comfortable’ With Capitals

Meanwhile, Florida is looking to get back on track after a rough go-of-it on Saturday. The Panthers couldn’t get much going on Saturday after Jonathan Huberdeau opened the scoring early. Still, the lineup will stay the same, per Andrew Brunette. Here are what the lines looked like last time around:

Jonathan Huberdeau-Aleksander Barkov-Anthony Duclair

Carter Verhaeghe-Sam Bennett-Sam Reinhart

Mason Marchment-Anton Lundell-Claude Giroux

Noel Acciari-Eetu Luostarinen-Patric Hornqvist

MacKenzie Weegar-Aaron Ekblad

Gustav Forsling-Radko Gudas

Ben Chiarot-Brandon Montour

Sergei Bobrovsky will start. Spencer Knight is the backup.

When it comes to players to watch, keep an eye on Marcus Johansson, who had a goal and assist and was a force to be reckoned with in Game 2. Nicklas Backstrom and Anthony Mantha also had multi-point outings and looked good on that second line. On the Cats’ side, watch for Huberdeau, who has been outstanding so far this series and was among the NHL’s leading scorers to close out the regular season.

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