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Prospect Report: Galiev proving he's NHL ready

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Prospect Report: Galiev proving he's NHL ready

Hershey update: 6-3-0-3, 3rd in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 1-0-0-1

For anyone wondering why Stanislav Galiev made the jump to the NHL this season, you got your answer last week. Galiev began a two-week conditioning stint with the Hershey Bears and scored three goals off of 13 shots in just two games.

Galiev has struggled to break into a crowded Caps lineup this season, but these two games show that he has clearly developed past the point in which more time in the AHL will help him. It also highlights why the Caps can't afford to place him on waivers. With that much skill, someone would claim him.

If Galiev continues playing as well as he has, expect him to see more playing time when he returns to the Caps. He still will not get as much as perhaps he should, but with Jason Chimera on the last year of his contract, the Caps will likely have a bigger role for Galiev next season.

With the status of Brooks Orpik in question heading into Thursday's game, could we see a Hershey blue liner get called up? If that happens, while some may hope to get their first look at Madison Bowey in the NHL, let's not forget about Connor Carrick. Carrick had a big week for the Bears with three assists in two games.

The issue for Carrick this season has been staying out of the penalty box. While he currently leads Hershey defensemen with six points, he also leads the team in penalty minutes with 16.

Chandler Stephenson may find himself heading back to Hershey soon and it has nothing to do with how he's played in the NHL, but rather Hershey's need for forwards.

Already dealing with the loss of Jakub Vrana, Hershey received more bad news this week as Liam O'Brien will miss four to six weeks due to MCL ligament damage to his knee. O'Brien suffered the injury in Saturday's game and was originally considered day-to-day, but an MRI revealed the injury to be more significant.

RELATED: Oshie, Chorney prepare to face their old coach

Other prospect notes:

In other injury news, the Regina Pats are currently missing both of their Caps prospects from the lineup. Defenseman Colby Williams has not played yet this season due to an arm injury he suffered in the offseason. They are now also without defenseman Connor Hobbs who is dealing with a concussion suffered in the team's game on Oct. 31. He has not played since.

As for the players who are on the ice, the Caps prospects continue to impress in the college ranks. Thomas DiPauli tallied an assist and five shots in Notre Dame's loss to Minnesota on Friday and also scored the winning goal on Saturday to help lead the Irish to a series split. He is now currently enjoying a three-game point streak.

You can see DiPauli's game-winning goal in the highlights here:

Shane Gersich also tallied a game-wining goal for his North Dakota team against Wisconsin on Saturday.

Things got interesting in Boston as Zach Sanford was involved in a line brawl between Boston College and Maine late in the second period. Sanford was given a 2-minute minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct.

Sanford also recorded an assist in the Eagles' win.

MORE CAPITALS: Biron voices frustration with bad-angle goals

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Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

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Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

Defenseman Jakub Jerabek is really happy about the opportunity to play with the Washington Capitals, but it could have come at a better time. The trade came with his parents already on their way from the Czech Republic to visit him.

“It was crazy days past three days because I had my parents on the way to Montreal and they didn't know so it was a big surprise for them,” Jerabek told reporters Saturday after his first skate with the team.

A native of the Czech Republic, Jerabek signed his first NHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens in May 2017. After spending some time in the AHL and struggling to consistently earn a spot in the Canadiens’ lineup, he knew a trade was possible.

“My family, maybe we expected some trade. When its come with Caps and it was Washington, I was really happy.”

RELATED: TRADE DEADLINE STORY TIME WITH ALAN MAY

Jerabek said he came into the NHL with no expectations and was simply happy for the opportunity, but it is fair to wonder if he was not just the least bit frustrated with how he was utilized by Montreal.

For a player with experience playing for the national team, the Czech league and the KHL, getting only 25 games with a bad Montreal team seems a bit low.

“In first two weeks, I didn't know what's going on because the coaches just told me that I played well, but we just make some competition between the [defensemen] and that I have to wait for my next chance,” Jerabek said. “It was hard, but now I'm happy down here.”

Washington now offers a very different opportunity. In need of help on the blue line, Jeraebek has the chance to earn consistent playing time for a team on pace to reach the postseason.

Jerabek will not play in Saturday’s game against Buffalo, but he was hopeful he would be in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

MORE CAPITALS: IS IT TIME FOR GRUBAUER TO START IN PLACE OF HOLTBY?

For now, Jerabek and head coach Barry Trotz are unclear as to what his ultimate role on the team will be. With eight defensemen now on the roster, Trotz cautioned any lineup decision could not be rushed because of the trickle-down effect it will have on the other players.

“You always look at chemistry and all that with your group depending how high that player goes up the lineup, it affects different people,” Trotz said. “In a forward group, if you get a guy that you all of a sudden stick on the first line, there's four other guys that are bumped down and one guy's bumped out.”

The addition of Jerabek, however, offers the Caps another defenseman who can quickly move the puck out of the defensive zone, something the team has struggled with immensely throughout the season. Though he shoots left, he also said he is comfortable playing on the right said and has played there regularly over the past few years. That provides the lineup with some flexibility on the third pair behind Matt Niskanen and John Carlson.

As for Jerabek’s parents, they will be arriving in Washington on Saturday.

“I tried to figure out the situation with them to get them to here and they will come today,” he said. “So I'm really happy.”

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

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

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Sabres will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Sabres game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Sabres game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Sabres
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Sabres game:

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

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

Philipp Grubauer starts with Braden Holtby as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS-SABRES 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.