With Beagle returning, rookie Jakub Vrana will sit as a healthy scratch. Vrana skated 6:58 in his NHL postseason debut Thursday in Game 1 and had the primary assist on a Devante Smith-Pelly goal in the third period.
Vrana also drew an Ian Cole hooking penalty early in the first period, but the 22-year-old struggled with puck management and committed multiple turnovers.
“We felt that this is the lineup we need to go with tonight,” said head coach Barry Trotz. “I thought [Vrana] made a really good play on the goal. He didn’t have a lot of ice time, and there’s some things we need to clear up in his game and get him a reset. We’ll see where we are next game.”
Brett Connolly will take Vrana’s spot on the third line and skate alongside Lars Eller and Smith-Pelly. Connolly had 15 goals and a career-high 27 points in 70 games during the regular season.
“I just think Conno, for him, I thought he is had a real good second half in terms of his overall game,” said Trotz. “It’s been pretty decent. So, I think an opportunity, him and Lars seem to have some chemistry, which they’ve had the last couple years. I think that could hopefully be a real good line for us.”
Below is the Capitals projected Game 2 lineup:
8 Alex Ovechkin — 92 Evgeny Kuznetsov — 43 Tom Wilson
65 Andre Burakovsky — 19 Nicklas Backstrom — 77 T.J. Oshie
10 Brett Connolly — 20 Lars Eller — 25 Devante Smith-Pelly
18 Chandler Stephenson — 83 Jay Beagle — 39 Alex Chiasson
9 Dmitry Orlov — 2 Matt Niskanen
6 Michal Kempny — 74 John Carlson
44 Brooks Orpik — 28 Jakub Jerabek
31 Philipp Grubauer
70 Braden Holtby
Scratches: Jakub Vrana, Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos, Shane Gersich, Travis Boyd
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