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Capitals Shake Up Lineup Again, Eller To Be Healthy Scratch

The Washington Capitals will see the lineup change yet again, as Dylan Strome draws in while Lars Eller becomes the odd man out.



The Washington Capitals are back at work as they prepare for the New York Islanders on Monday, and they're again shaking up the lineup for what is one of their most important games to date.

Head coach Peter Laviolette continues to experiment with new lineup combinations as he balances 14 healthy forwards, and after three losses in their last four games, the Capitals are still looking for the right combination. So, at Monday's morning skate, things changed.

After Dylan Strome sat out as a healthy scratch for Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, he will draw back in, and it looks like Lars Eller will be the odd man out and be a healthy scratch for the first time this season and for the fir, per The Washington Post's Samantha Pell.

Eller is the third regular forward to be a healthy scratch this season, as Strome and Anthony Mantha also took a seat with Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson drawing back in. Mantha was a scratch for two consecutive games, while Strome sat for one game before coming back.

Mantha responded to the scratch by saying that he had to improve his work ethic and work on getting his confidence back amid an inconsistent year, and when he came back on Saturday, he was moving his feet and had four shots and two hits, while also being one of the team's leaders in even-strength ice time.

READ MORE ON WHN: Clarity On John Carlson's Ear, Inside Washington Capitals' Scratches & Woes

Laviolette said on Saturday that he scratched Strome in order to keep "faceoff and penalty kill guys" in the mix, which was also a subtle hint at why he dressed Eller over Strome at center back on Saturday. Eller is among the Capitals top penalty killers and leads all centers in faceoff wins and percentage this season.

Ultimately, though, he stressed that there would be more change, and regarding who would be the odd man out, he stressed that it's not necessarily a reflection of the play but what's best to help the team gel while also balancing things out and keeping everyone active.

"What kept us in [the race] at the beginning of the year, that depth that we signed and was able to keep us in the mix, now that we're started to get players back, it puts extra players in the mix," Laviolette explained. "So, if three games from now somebody sits, there's no reason to ask me, 'What did he do wrong?' It's just we've got to manage 14 good players."

Here are what the lines look like, per Pell:

Alex Ovechkin-Dylan Strome-Conor Sheary

Anthony Mantha-Evgeny Kuznetsov-T.J. Oshie

Sonny Milano-Nicklas Backstrom-Tom Wilson

Marcus Johansson-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen

Matt Irwin-Martin Fehervary

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