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Capitals Make Wild Changes vs. Minnesota, Mantha Out & Kuznetsov Demoted

The Washington Capitals made some rather wild lineup changes prior to puck drop against the Minnesota Wild.



WASHINGTON — As they take on Minnesota, the Washington Capitals made some… wild lineup changes.

With Nic Dowd out after suffering a lower-body injury against the New York Islanders that will keep him out for "a little bit," head coach Peter Laviolette promised there would be changes to the lineup. There are quite a few noteworthy moves.

Anthony Mantha again draws out as a healthy scratch, marking the third time in five games that he'll watch from the press box. With him out, Nicolas Aube-Kubel will slot back in after being a healthy scratch for four straight games.

Not only does NAK come in, but he is promoted to the top line, where he will skate on the right wing and play alongside Alex Ovechkin and Dylan Strome. Before sitting four games, Aube-Kubel had goals in back-to-back games.

The only line staying the same as Monday is the Sonny Milano-Nicklas Backstrom-Tom Wilson trio, which serves as the second line.

With Dowd out, Lars Eller is drawing back in after sitting Monday out as a healthy scratch. He will center the third line with Conor Sheary and T.J. Oshie.

That leaves Evgeny Kuznetsov demoted to the fourth line, where he'll go to work with Garnet Hathaway and Marcus Johansson.

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