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Capitals Notebook: Forward Lines Could Change, Schultz A Game-Time Decision



Capitals forward Daniel Sprong

ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals could see some lineup changes as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

Based on line rushes, it appeared that Daniel Sprong would be drawing back after three games as a healthy scratch, while Joe Snively drew out. However, Sprong stayed on the ice long after morning skate working with the extras, so it’s unclear if he will play or not.

In 42 games this season, Sprong has just eight goals and five assists. He has gone without a point in his last five games. Snively has four goals and three assists through 11 appearancces this season.

Meanwhile, Dmitry Orlov, who missed Monday’s morning skate for personal reasons, is expected to play. Matt Irwin took rushes in his place alongside Nick Jensen on the second pairing. Justin Schultz was also on the ice for the team’s practice but is also a game-time decision. Michal Kempny took part in rushes with Trevor van Riemsdyk for Schultz, but Schultz was practicing on the second power-play unit toward the end of the skate.

READ MORE ON WHN: Vanecek Recalled, Ready To Return From Injury For Capitals

Schultz suffered an upper-body injury in the Feb. 15 game against Nashville and missed the Feb. 17 game with Philly. He returned for Thursday’s game against New York after a long bye week but did not play on Saturday against the Flyers. Kempny filled in for him on both occasions.

Ilya Samsonov will get the nod for Washington, marking his seventh straight start and 10th straight game. Vitek Vanecek will back up after being recalled from Hershey after a conditioning start on Sunday. He stopped 21 of 23 shots (.913 save percentage) in a 3-1 loss to Utica.

The forward lines also saw some changes, with T.J. Oshie promoted back to the top-6 with Snively scratched. Here are the lines from morning skate:

Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson

Conor Sheary-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie

Connor McMichael-Lars Eller-Daniel Sprong/Joe Snively*

Carl Hagelin-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Martin Fehervary-John Carlson

Matt Irwin*-Nick Jensen

Michal Kempny*-Trevor van Riemsdyk

*Editor’s Note: Sprong and Snively could change depending on the circumstances post morning skate. Orlov is expected to play alongside Jensen against Toronto. Schultz is a game-time decision, with Kempny likely drawing in if he cannot play.

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