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Laviolette Explains Decision To Bench Strome, Milano In Capitals’ Loss To Sharks

Dylan Strome and Sonny Milano watched most of the second period from the bench in the Washington Capitals’ 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Head coach Peter Laviolette explained why.



WASHINGTON — After starting the game on the first line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Dylan Strome found himself watching from the bench in the second, along with Sonny Milano, who'd started the game rounding out the top 6 alongside Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson.

Both Strome and Milano, who both signed extensions over the All-Star Break, took a seat in the second period. Strome played just 1:50 minutes and got two shifts in the middle frame, while Milano had just three shifts and skated just under four minutes. Strome didn't skate after the 10:26 mark and Milano didn't skate after the 9:43 mark of that period but got additional playing time in the third.

Head coach Peter Laviolette said it wasn't a result of their performance against the San Jose Sharks, as the whole team showed fatigue, but more so an attempt to ignite a spark.

"I was trying to cut down to three [lines], trying to look for anything that had jump," Laviolette said. "There wasn't a lot going on in the second from any standpoint and we tried to address it after the second period as well. Like I said, it's just one of those games where it did not happen for us."

Laviolette jumbled the lines over the course of the game, replacing Strome on the top line with Evgeny Kuznetsov, who scored the team's lone goal. Backstrom then moved to play with Conor Sheary and T.J. Oshie, while Lars Eller centered Garnet Hathaway and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Aube-Kubel later joined Strome and Milano on a line in the third.

Strome finished with 12:09 minutes of ice time, while Milano logged 9:25. The Capitals fell 4-1.

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