Right wing Stan Galiev will be in the lineup and right wing Andre Burakovsky and defenseman Brooks Orpik will be out when the Capitals face off against the Colorado Avalanche tonight at Verizon Center (7 p.m., CSN).
Galiev, 23, practiced on a third line with center Jay Beagle and left wing Jason Chimera Saturday morning, while Justin Williams, who had been on the third line, moved up to a second line with center Evgeny Kuznetsov and left wing Marcus Johansson.
Galiev was recalled by the Capitals on Nov. 16 after scoring three goals in five games with the Hershey Bears. He has not played for the Caps since the third game of the season on Oct. 15 when he picked up an assist.
“Gally deserves a chance,” Trotz said. “Every day he comes and practices hard and went down to Hershey and played pretty well. I expect a little more from (Burakovsky), some of the details in his game. We haven’t gotten much production from him.”
Burakovsky, 20, has just one point in his last 11 games and has not scored a goal since Oct. 23. He has just two goals and four assists in 18 games, after netting nine goals and 13 assists in 53 games as a rookie last season.
“Sometimes you pull him out and he gets to reassess,” Trotz said. “There’s nothing that gets your message across like pulling a player out. A little more detail and a little more production and he should be fine.”
Galiev, who led the Bears with 25 goals last season, said he’s looking forward to another crack at the NHL. He has one goal and one assist in four career games with the Caps.
“It’s been a long time and I’m excited to play,” Galiev said. “I just want to prepare mentally. I haven’t played in this league for a long time but those five games in Hershey should help me. I got my confidence back and I’m going to use my speed today and be the first guy on the forecheck and back check.”
Galiev also saw time Saturday morning on the Caps’ second power-play unit, where he occupied Alex Ovechkin’s spot in the left circle.
“It should be fun,” he said. “Hopefully (Ovechkin) finishes off all the power plays with a goal and I don’t have to do it.”
MORE CAPS: WILSON A TARGET?
Trotz said Galiev will take Williams’ spot on the third line and not Burakovsky spot on the second line because he needs to prove himself as an NHL player, and because Williams deserves more ice time because of his recent play.
“Let’s make sure you’re able to play in the league first,” Trotz said putting Galiev in the top six. “His assets are skating and his skill level. But can he produce at this level up here?”
Orpik still ailing: Orpik (lower body) received treatments at Kettler on Saturday but is still not ready to suit up. He will miss his fifth straight game tonight and is unlikely to play on Monday against the Oilers.
“We want him to be 100 percent and once he gets to 100 percent we’ll give him a couple practices and you can expect him to be in the lineup after that point,” Trotz said. “It’s a long haul and he’s an important piece and we’re going to get him to 100 percent. It’s not a serious injury but it takes some time for what he has.”
Here’s how the Caps looked at Saturday’s morning skate:
Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Justin Williams
Jason Chimera – Jay Beagle – Stan Galiev
Brooks Laich - Michael Latta – Tom Wilson
Nate Schmidt - John Carlson
Karl Alzner – Matt Niskanen
Dmitry Orlov – Taylor Chorney
Braden Holtby (starter) – Philipp Grubauer