The Washington Capitals were forced to make some significant lineup changes after several players were deemed out of the lineup for their matchup with the New York Islanders Sunday. The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell reports the Caps will be without Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) for a second straight game. The team, however, is also expected to be without Travis Boyd and Michal Kempny.
Backstrom missed Game 2 due to being in concussion protocol. He made an appearance at Saturday’s practice with many hoping that he would step in for Game 3 with the Capitals being down 2-0 in their series against the Islanders. However, he is not ready and Lars Eller is expected to move into the second-line center role with Brian Pinho expected to make his NHL debut and step into the third-line center role. Both Boyd and Kempny are healthy scratches with Radko Gudas checking in.
- While there has been no official word on his status, Philadelphia Flyers fans might be able to breathe easier as forward Travis Konecny was seen at the Flyers’ morning skate, according to Sportsnet’s Eric Engels. The Flyers’ forward was forced to leave Game 2 after blocking a shot with his leg. Konecny, who has scored 24 goals for three straight years, would be a big addition for the team that lost 5-0 to Montreal Friday. If Konecny doesn’t go today, Michael Raffl is expected to go in his place.
- PGH Hockey Now’s Dan Kingerski writes that Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Juuso Riikola, who will be a restricted free agent this offseason, isn’t going to be returning to Finland. The 26-year-old stuck around with the Penguins as a seventh defenseman, appearing in 36 games. However, while the team felt he needs more time to work on his defensive game, Riikola will likely battle Pierre-Olivier Joseph for a third-line spot on the team next season.