The Capitals raised some eyebrows on Friday with the news that the team had recalled forward Chandler Stephenson from the Hershey Bears. With Hershey playing Game 1 of its first-round series on Friday, it seemed a curious move for the Caps to make unless there was a reason, perhaps an injury, to prompt the recall.
Barry Trotz, however, assured the media that was not the case after Friday’s morning skate
“That was sort of the plan all along,” Trotz said of the timing of Stephenson’s recall. “We just felt that we needed two forwards. We wanted him to have some time in Hershey.”
Based on the line rushes in the morning skate, Stephenson is indeed expected to join Paul Carey as a healthy scratch for Fridays Game 5. Of course, the morning skate is not official and Trotz can change the lineup prior to the game. According to him, however, there is no need.
When asked if there were any injury concern for the forwards, Trotz said, “Nope. Zero.”
The lone injury to the Caps continues to be Karl Alzner who the team confirmed would not play in Game 5.
Here are the expected lines for Game 5 based on the morning skate:
Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Justin Williams
Andre Burakovsky – Lars Eller – Tom Wilson
Daniel Winnik – Jay Beagle – Brett Connolly
Nate Schmidt – John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov – Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik – Kevin Shattenkirk
Braden Holtby starts.