Capitals Game Day: Major Line Shakeups, Mantha Out, Jensen Update
The Washington Capitals got some major shakeups as Anthony Mantha was the odd man out and Nick Jensen continues to hurt.
ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals saw major changes at Friday's morning skate as the lines completely changed, while Anthony Mantha found himself looking from the outside in while Nick Jensen appears to be on a road to recovery.
Head coach Peter Laviolette tweaked the forward lines and defensive pairings. Mantha was an extra as Sonny Milano made his return from a non-COVID illness.
Mantha was benched for the final 14:38 minutes of the third and all of overtime in Wednesday's game against the Buffalo Sabres. He skated a team-low 9:58 minutes and was a minus-1. His last shift came just over five minutes into the third when he was on the ice for a Zemgus Girgensons goal against.
Dylan Strome also reunited with Alex Ovechkin and Conor Sheary on the top line, while Milano went back to work with Nicklas Backstrom.
Here are what the forward lines looked like:
Alex Ovechkin-Dylan Strome-Conor Sheary
T.J. Oshie-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano-Nicklas Backstrom-Craig Smith
Aliaksei Protas-Nic Dowd-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Meanwhile, Jensen took the ice for the skate but was taking rushes on the extra pairing alongside John Carlson. He did not stay on for the extras skate and will be a game-time decision.
Jensen went back to the locker room later in the third period and did not return for the remainder of the game. It is unclear what happened.
Not having him would be a tough loss for the Capitals, who are continuing the playoff push and are five points out of a spot. Jensen just recently returned from an upper-body injury that held him out for three games.
Gabriel Carlsson was in the mix in his place, and the second and third pairings tweaked as Trevor van Riemsdyk and Rasmus Sandin stayed together. Carlsson skated with Matt Irwin, while Alex Alexeyev skated with Martin Fehervary.
Darcy Kuemper will start.
Washington faces the St. Louis Blues on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.