With Evgeny Kuznetsov serving a suspension and Connor Brown unavailable due to injury, the Washington Capitals were forced to recall a forward. They have chosen Beck Malenstyn, who played 12 games for the team last season.
It is not clear yet how long Brown will be out, but the team told reporters including Samantha Pell of the Washington Post that it will be long-term. That isn’t an ideal situation for the team to be in, especially after losing Axel Jonsson Fjallby and Brett Leason to a roster crunch just a few days ago. That was a lot of the team’s depth, though they did add Sonny Milano on a one-year deal to help fill the cupboard back up.
Malenstyn, 24, has just 15 NHL appearances to his name and isn’t exactly an offensive force. The fifth-round pick scored just ten goals and 16 points in 65 games with the Hershey Bears last season but does offer a big body for the bottom-six. As everyone slides up, the Capitals have inserted Connor McMichael into the third-line center role for tomorrow’s game, while Conor Sheary jumps up to the top unit across from Alex Ovechkin and beside Lars Eller.
The team knows Kuznetsov will be back after his one-game suspension, but Brown’s absence will be noticeable. The versatile winger had averaged over 18 minutes through his first three games, most importantly as the team’s top penalty-killing forward. In fact, Kuznetsov was second on that list, meaning others will have to pick up the slack tomorrow night.