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Madison Bowey's contract is why he is headed to Hershey, not his play

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Madison Bowey's contract is why he is headed to Hershey, not his play

Madison Bowey has been re-assigned to the Hershey Bears, the Capitals announced Tuesday. Bowey has not played since Feb. 20 after Washington's blue line suddenly became rather crowded with the additions of Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek.

Bowey, 22, has played in 51 games this season after making his NHL debut on Oct. 26. He has tallied 12 assists, ranking eighth among rookie defensemen.

Washington has struggled to move the puck out of their own zone this season and having two rookie defensemen in the top-six was a harrowing prospect for the playoffs. To address that, the Capitals acquired Kempny and Jerabek.

RELATED: HOW DOES A TEAM HANDLE BEING ON THE WRONG END OF A HISTORIC MOMENT?

Since then, Bowey has been the odd-man out.

While the move from NHL to the AHL is easy to think of as a "demotion," Bowey's contract likely had more to do with his being sent to Hershey than his play.

With spots on the blue line open in training camp, Bowey established himself as one of the team's top six players. Yet, he began the season in Hershey. The reason why was because Bowey, unlike fellow rookie Christian Djoos, is waivers exempt. He was recalled after an injury to Matt Niskanen and has been with the Caps ever since except for some paper transactions to Hershey for cap reasons.

Bowey has had his share of mistakes this season, but overall has played well for a rookie. The team's confidence in him was reflected with the waiving of Taylor Chorney after trading for Kempny. Rather than send Bowey to Hershey, risk-free, the Capitals opted to place Chorney on waivers where he was claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Losing Chorney brought the number of defensemen on the roster down to seven. Now with eight again after the addition of Jerabek, it makes sense to send Bowey to Hershey where he can get playing time. That's not an option for Djoos who, again, would have to clear waivers.

It would not be a surprise to see Bowey back on the roster before the playoffs, especially given that Hershey seems unlikely to reach the postseason in the AHL.

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Game 5 Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 5 Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Alex Ovechkin said the Caps would return to Washington with a tied series. The Caps captain is a man of his word as the Caps won both Game 3 and Game 4 to even up the series at two games apiece.

John Tortorella had no answers after seeing his Columbus Blue Jackets fall in Game 4, but he will have to figure things out quickly as the series shifts back to Washington for a pivotal Game 5.

The Caps return home with two straight wins and all the momentum. There's just one problem: No one seemingly can win at home.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Round 1, Game 5

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 3:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC.

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 on NBC Sports' live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets in Game 5 on Saturday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET in Washington. The series is tied 2-2.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME ON?

Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 2:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 2:30 p.m. Tune back to NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 6:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

2:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
2:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
3:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Blue Jackets on NBC
5:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
6:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 5 is available to stream live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Here are the Caps' projected lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly- Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly
Jakub Vrana -  Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky (upper-body), Shane Gerisch, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

SEE THE CAPITALS VS. BLUE JACKETS FULL SERIES SCHEDULE HERE

CAPITALS SCHEDULE

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Now it's a series

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Now it's a series

The Caps looked to be in real trouble after blowing leads and losing in overtime in both Game 1 and Game 2.

After two straight wins, however, Washington is in control against the Columbus Blue Jackets as the series returns to Washington, D.C. for Game 5. 

On the latest eipisode of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast, JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir talk about what changed for the Capitals between Game 2 and 3, as well as resetting their series predictions.

And as always, they answer several viewer questions.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page