Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette told the media that forward Jakub Vrana will come out of the lineup as a healthy scratch in favor of forward Richard Panik against the New Jersey Devils (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington). Panik has been a healthy scratch in each of the past two games, both regulation losses.
Goaltender Vitek Vanecek will start on Friday.
Laviolette said the he has had conversations with Vrana about the competitiveness of his game. This is the first time Vrana will be scratched since Game 2 of the first round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 15, 2018.
Vrana has played the past two games on the third-line after staying in the top-six forward group for most of the season.
The 24-year-old has recorded 10 goals, 23 points, and a +6 rating in 35 games this season but has just three assists in his last nine.
Laviolette said the following about Vrana, according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti:
By Harrison Brown