Capitals’ Siegenthaler ready for playoff debut

RALEIGH, N.C. — Rookie defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler will make his postseason debut Thursday night as the Washington Capitals look to rebound in Game 4 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes beat the Capitals 5-0 in Game 3, trimming Washington’s first-round series lead to 2 games to 1.

The lackluster performance from the Capitals has led to wholesale changes to their lineup ahead of Game 4. All four forward trios have undergone some degree of change, while Siegenthaler will replace Christian Djoos on the Capitals’ third defensive pairing.

“He’s a young defenseman that’s got size and really good stick detail,” said head coach Todd Reirden.

“He understands the game, he’s got poise out there in heated situations. Obviously he hasn’t played playoff hockey before, but he’s a guy that with that added size can make plays under pressure or take a hit to make a play.”

Siegenthaler, 21, appeared in 26 games with the Capitals during the regular season. At 6-foot-3 and 206 pounds, Siegenthaler provides the Capitals with a big body as well as some mobility.

“For sure, I’m going to be a little bit nervous,” he conceded after the morning skate. “I think I’ve got not to think about it too much and just play hockey.”

GAME 4 PREVIEW WITH JOHN WALTON & BEN RABY

Up front, forward Travis Boyd will be making his 2019 postseason debut in place of Chandler Stephenson on the fourth line.

“Travis has been really good, had a really strong year for us and will look to provide some secondary offense,” said Reirden. “But also just the excitement and the compete for him to get in there and when you have a guy who’s been out for three games, it’s good to bring some fresh energy in … Moving [Carl] Hagelin down to that line as well, I think it gives us better four-line depth.”

Below is the Capitals’ expected lineup for Game 4:

Up front

Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-T. J. Oshie

Jakub Vrana-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson

Andre Burakovsky-Lars Eller-Brett Connolly

Carl Hagelin-Nic Dowd-Travis Boyd

 

On defense

John Carlson-Nick Jensen

Dimitry Orlov-Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik-Jonas Siegenthaler

 

In goal

Braden Holtby

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