ARLINGTON, V.A. — After a day off and six cuts, the Washington Capitals were back in action early on Tuesday, with Group A taking the ice first. And there, Vincent Iorio got his first look up with the NHL group after a strong preseason debut. Aliaksei Protas also remained up with the regulars.
Iorio was the sole new addition to Group A, skating on the makeshift fourth pairing with Matt Irwin. Protas, meanwhile, drew into the lineup, no longer rotating in as an extra. Instead, he was on the third line with Anthony Mantha on the left and Dylan Strome at center. Meanwhile, the team got a new look at 2C, as Lars Eller took his spot on the second line down the middle between Conor Sheary and T.J. Oshie. That left Connor McMichael skating in as an extra and interchanging in.
That left one more change, as Connor Brown went back on the top line. Besides Iorio’s addition to the main group, the defensive pairings remained the same.
Here are what the lines looked like at Tuesday’s skate at MedStar Capitals Iceplex:
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Connor Brown
Conor Sheary-Lars Eller-T.J. Oshie
Anthony Mantha-Dylan Strome-Aliaksei Protas
Marcus Johansson-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway
Martin Fehervary-John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson-Trevor van Riemsdyk
Matt Irwin-Vincent Iorio
Iorio’s promotion comes after an impressive NHL preseason debut against the Buffalo Sabres. Iorio showcased his strong skating, physicality and blistering point shot, which ultimately led to an impressive assist on Joe Snively’s goal. Protas also had a strong showing against Buffalo, as he displayed more confidence and speed and also noticed an assist.
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Head coach Peter Laviolette had said that the younger guys would mix in with the regulars over the course of camp.
Snively, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Brett Leason, Gabriel Carlsson and Lucas Johansen have all also skated with Group A in the first few days. There will surely be more changes going forward.