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Brouillette latest Capitals blueliner set for NHL debut

by Adam Vingan

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Youth and inexperience have been served on the Washington Capitals' blue line.

Ahead of their game against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, the Capitals recalled defensemen Julien Brouillette and Patrick Wey from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.

Brouillette, who will make his NHL debut (the fourth Capitals defenseman to do so this season), and Wey, who made his on Dec. 7, will form Washington's third pairing with a combined one game of experience in the League.

"[The recall] was definitely special," said Brouillette, who has nine goals and 14 points in 29 games with Hershey this season. "Offensively has been good this year for me. Hopefully I can bring that, but more importantly, just more steady defense. You know what you get out of me every night, and hopefully same thing [Thursday]."

Factoring in 19-year-old rookie Connor Carrick, the bottom half of Washington defense has 19 total games of experience. The Capitals will have dressed 13 defensemen this season, tied with the Edmonton Oilers for the most in the League.

The young defensemen will be tasked with stopping a Jets team that has won nine of 11 under coach Paul Maurice, particularly reconverted forward Dustin Byfuglien, whose sheer size will make for a difficult matchup.

"The challenges are, it's the NHL," said Capitals coach Adam Oates, adding that Brouillette and Wey's prior experience as defensive partners with the Bears factored into their joint recall. "And we're playing a hot team, good team, good power forwards. But they've been playing good down in Hershey and they skate good, so their feet can hopefully bail them out."

Here are the projected lineups:


Andrew LaddBryan LittleMichael Frolik

Chris ThorburnMark ScheifeleBlake Wheeler

Devin SetoguchiOlli JokinenDustin Byfuglien

Eric TangradiJames WrightAnthony Peluso

Tobias EnstromZach Bogosian

Mark StuartJacob Trouba

Adam PardyKeaton Ellerby

Ondrej Pavelec

Al Montoya

Scratched: Eric O'Dell, Zach Redmond

Injured: Evander Kane (hand infection), Jim Slater (sports hernia), Matt Halischuk (forearm), Grant Clitsome (back)


Martin EratNicklas BackstromAlex Ovechkin

Marcus JohanssonCasey WellmanTroy Brouwer

Jason ChimeraEric FehrJoel Ward

Brooks LaichJay BeagleTom Wilson

Karl AlznerJohn Carlson

Dmitry OrlovConnor Carrick

Julien BrouillettePatrick Wey

Michal Neuvirth

Braden Holtby

Scratched: John Erskine

Injured: Mikhail Grabovski (left ankle), Aaron Volpatti (upper body), Mike Green (concussion)

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