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Capitals’ Kempny Enters COVID-19 Protocol, Snively Recalled For Stars Tilt

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Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny

The Washington Capitals saw another blueliner sidelined on Friday and also made another transaction as they prepare to take on the Dallas Stars.

Michal Kempny will be unavailable after entering the COVID-19 protocol. The team also recalled Joe Snively from the taxi squad, and he will draw into the lineup, per head coach Peter Laviolette. Washington held an optional morning skate on Friday, so it is unclear what the forward lines or defense pairings will look like.

After a tough training camp, Kempny spent the first part of the season with Hershey before joining the Capitals after the COVID-19 pause in December.

He has also been helping fill in for Nick Jensen of late after Jensen suffered an upper-body injury against Boston. Jensen is on the injured reserve and listed as week-to-week, but he has been skating over the last three days. The 30-year-old blueliner is no longer in a non-contact jersey and is eligible to come off the IR. Laviolette said that he is getting “close.”

In seven games this season with Washington, Kempny has registered an assist, six penalty minutes, 13 blocks and 14 hits, as well as a +/- of minus-1. He is currently playing on the third pairing with Trevor van Riemsdyk.

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It is unclear whether or not Kempny tested positive or is experiencing symptoms. The NHL will stop testing asymptomatic players after the All-Star break.

Meanwhile, Snively is set to play in his second career NHL game. The Herndon, V.A. native made his NHL debut on Dec. 19, picking up his first NHL assist on a Connor McMichael goal. Snively currently ranks third in AHL scoring with 38 points in 35 games with Hershey this season. Washington brought Snively up to the taxi squad on Thursday while re-assigning Mike Sgarbossa.

The Capitals are looking to get back on track and put an end to a skid that has seen them drop eight of their last 11 decisions. They face a familiar opponent in former Washington netminder Braden Holtby and take on Dallas at 9 p.m. ET.

“We got to just dial in on what we’re doing here,” Laviolette said after the morning skate, adding, “We got to win hockey games.”

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