With fourth line center Jay Beagle labeled as “doubtful” for Thursday’s Game 1 vs. Columbus, the Caps’ lineup appears to be set.
Here’s how Coach Barry Trotz had his players lined up Wednesday:
Out: Beagle (upper body), Boyd (illness) and Gersich
Out: Djoos and Bowey
Some notes, quotes, and observations about the lineup:
*Beagle skated on his own again following the team practice and appeared to do more than previous days. Still, Trotz did not sound optimistic—at all—about his availability for Thursday.
*Travis Boyd remains ill and did not practice again. It’s unclear what’s wrong with him, but he’s been sidelined for nearly a week. His absence limits Trotz’s options on the fourth line with Beagle also expected to be out.
*Vrana, who was a healthy scratch in the second to last regular season game, is slated to make his postseason debut. Ditto for Chandler Stephenson and Jakub Jerabek.
*The top-six forwards are the same as they were on opening night with the exception of Wilson in place of Vrana. Wilson, if you recall, was suspended for the first four games.
*Grubauer will be making his second career postseason start—and first since the 2014-15 season. It’s the first time the Caps are starting a series with a goalie not named Braden Holtby since 2011.
*Three players—Stephenson, Michal Kempny, and Jerabek—were not on the opening night roster.