Backstrom, Oshie Participate In Capitals’ Line Rushes; Irwin To Draw In For Orlov vs. Bruins

After center Nicklas Backstrom and right-wing T.J. Oshie both missed the past three games due to non-COVID-19 related illnesses, each participated in line rushes during the Washington Capitals’ morning skate on Monday prior to their game vs. the Boston Bruins at Capital One Arena (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market).

With defenseman Dmitry Orlov out due to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, Trevor Van Riemsdyk will bump up a pairing while Matt Irwin will draw into the lineup. Orlov became the 13th Capital to land on COVID-19 protocol this season.

After stopping 49 of 50 shots in his first three NHL starts, including 28 of 29 in his past two during the Capitals’ road trip over the weekend, goaltender Zach Fucale will start on Monday night. He learned of the news on Sunday afternoon. Vitek Vanecek will dress as the back-up after missing the last five games due to COVID-19 protocol while Ilya Samsonov will be a healthy scratch. Since December 9, Samsonov, 24, is 2-2-2 with an .869 save percentage and a 3.53 goals-against average.

For the Bruins, defenseman Charlie McAvoy should return after missing two games with a lower-body injury while left-wing Nick Foligno and defenseman Connor Clifton ran into COVID-19 testing issues. The team is waiting for clarity on their results. Right-wing Karson Kuhlman will draw into the lineup. Foligno will also have an MRI for a lower-body injury on Tuesday.

Right-wing Jake DeBrusk is still in COVID-19 protocol and will not play.

Goaltender Linus Ullmark will guard the goal in the Bruins’ crease on Monday.

NHL News

  • Colorado Avalanche LW Gabriel Landeskog entered COVID-19 protocol
  • New York Rangers LW Artemi Panarin was removed from COVID-19 protocol
  • Minnesota Wild activated C Joel Eriksson Ek off injured reserve
  • Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Justin Braun has been added to the COVID-19 protocol list
  • 2021 Hobey Baker finalist, Division I goalie of the year Jack LaFontaine signed a one-year, entry-level contract with Carolina Hurricanes

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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