For the first time, the Washington Capitals will play host to the Seattle Kraken at Capital One Arena. And after a couple of roster moves on Friday, the lineup will look a bit different.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, who was called up from Hershey on Friday, will slot into the lineup and play in his 10th NHL game. He will take Carl Hagelin‘s spot on that fourth line with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway. Meanwhile, Conor Sheary will move up to the third line to play with Lars Eller and Connor McMichael, while Daniel Sprong will be a healthy scratch. This will be the fourth time in five games that Sprong will watch from the press box.
Through nine career NHL games, Jonsson-Fjallby has one assist and has logged time on the penalty kill and at even strength. Down in Hershey, he was tied in second for with 16 goals and 18 assists. Like Hagelin, he’s a smart, speedy two-way forward who can play well in his own end and also utilize his skating and vision to generate pressure on the forecheck. With Hagelin on the long-term injured reserve, AJF could get the opportunity to stay up in D.C. long-term, and Saturday will be a test for the 24-year-old.
READ MORE ON WHN: Mantha Reflects On Recovery Process, Return From Injury For Capitals
Meanwhile, Anthony Mantha will play in his second game back from injury. He will again skate on the second line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.
Here are what the combinations could look like:
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson
Anthony Mantha-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie
Connor McMichael-Lars Eller-Conor Sheary
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway
Martin Fehervary-John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen
Trevor van Riemsdyk-Justin Schultz
With Zach Fucale heading back to Hershey, Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov will be the two Capitals goalies against Seattle. Also, the Kraken will see Philipp Gruabuer return for a homecoming. Vanecek will likely start and is coming off a stellar 36-save shutout against the Hurricanes on Thursday. He has a .920 save percentage and three shutouts through 26 games this season, including two shutouts in his last four outings.