Jakub Vrana a surprise scratch for Game 2


The Caps will get Jay Beagle and Michal Kempny back in the lineup on Sunday for Game 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but they will be without Jakub Vrana who will be a healthy scratch.

Brett Connolly replaced Vrana on the third line during the team's morning skate.

"We felt that this is the lineup we need to go with tonight," Trotz said.

Based on the lines at the morning skate, here is the projected lineup:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly- Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly
Chandler Stephenson -  Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Jakub Jerabek

Philipp Grubauer starts with Braden Holtby as backup.


Vrana's play was inconsistent during Game 1 as he turned the puck over numerous times and was on the ice for both of Columbus' 5-on-5 goals. On the first goal, he had the opportunity to get the puck away from Boone Jenner in the neutral zone, but failed to do so which allowed Jenner to find Alex Wennberg for the goal. Vrana was ultimately limited to only 6:58 of ice time.

Despite the limited minutes, Vrana still found a way to make an impact with a spectacular play to set-up Devante Smith-Pelly for the go-ahead goal in the third period. Vrana drove the zone, wheeled around to free himself from two Blue Jackets, then delivered the puck to Smith-Pelly for the one-timer.

As a rookie playing in his first NHL playoff game, mistakes are going to happen. The trade-off with Vrana is his playmaking ability and his speed, both of which were on display on Smith-Pelly's goal in a tie game.

Already down 1-0 in the series and with little margin for error in the team's second game in Washington, however, those mistakes proved to be too costly for Trotz.

"I thought [Vrana] made a really good play on the goal," Trotz said. "He didn't have a lot of ice time, and there's some things we need to clear up in his game and get him reset. We'll see where we are next game."


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