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Capitals' Fehr out, Grubauer to back up in Game 5

by Katie Brown

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals forward Eric Fehr will not play in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Thursday at Verizon Center (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, MSG+, CSN-DC), Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. Fehr also missed Game 4 because of an upper-body injury.

Fehr was injured during Game 3 of Washington's best-of-7 series against the New York Islanders. The series is tied 2-2.

He initially was expected to be available for Game 5 but he did not skate with the team Thursday and has not skated since being injured April 19. Trotz said Fehr is doubtful for Game 6 as well.

"Right now he's probably day-to-day," Trotz said. "We're closer. He hasn't been back on the ice yet so that would probably mean that he's doubtful for next game. I think he could be back for the rest of the series. I'm just sort of day-to-day on that."

Rookie forward Andre Burakovsky will play his second Stanley Cup Playoff game in Fehr's absence.

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer will replace Justin Peters as Braden Holtby's backup for Game 5. Grubauer was recalled from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League on April 17 and made his playoff debut in place of a sick Holtby in Game 2, which the Capitals won 4-3.

The Bears are starting their run in the Calder Cup playoffs but Trotz said he isn't feeling any pressure to send Grubauer back to the AHL just yet.

"We obviously went with [Holtby], he got sick and we went to Grubauer," Trotz said. "Grubauer deserves to finish the series. He gave us a win and at this point in time we made that decision in Game 2. [With] three games left in the series we want to leave our options to be in the situation where we've got the access to [Grubauer]."


Forward Curtis Glencross will be scratched for a second consecutive game.

Here are the projected lineups:


Nikolay Kulemin - John Tavares - Ryan Strome

Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo

Anders Lee - Mikhail Grabovski - Tyler Kennedy

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan - Brian Strait

Thomas Hickey - Griffin Reinhart

Jaroslav Halak

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Michael Grabner, Colin McDonald, Eric Boulton, Matt Donovan, Ryan Pulock

Injured: Travis Hamonic (undisclosed), Lubomir Visnovsky (undisclosed)


Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Joel Ward

Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Jason Chimera

Andre Burakovsky - Jay Beagle - Troy Brouwer

Brooks Laich - Michael Latta - Tom Wilson

Brooks Orpik - John Carlson

Matt Niskanen - Karl Alzner

Mike Green - Tim Gleason

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Curtis Glencross, Justin Peters

Injured: Dmitry Orlov (wrist), John Erskine (neck surgery), Eric Fehr (upper body)

Status report: Orlov got some extra work in after the Capitals' morning skate but likely will not return for the first round of the playoffs.

Who's hot: Backstrom leads Washington with three goals and six points. He scored in overtime in Game 4.

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