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Capitals insert Stephenson, Chorney vs. Blackhawks

by Katie Brown

BLACKHAWKS (2-2-0) at CAPITALS (1-1-0)


ARLINGTON, Va. -- Forward Chandler Stephenson has been recalled by the Washington Capitals from Hershey of the American League and will make his NHL debut Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks at Verizon Center.

Stephenson likely will play on the Capitals' fourth line with Brooks Laich and Stanislav Galiev, replacing Michael Latta in the lineup.

Coach Barry Trotz hopes small shakeups like the Stephenson move and inserting Taylor Chorney on defense will provide the spark the Capitals need to compete with the Blackhawks. The Capitals lost 5-0 to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday in their second game of the season and Trotz doesn't want a repeat.

"I just need a little bit more," Trotz said. "I feel that we can play better, individuals can play better. We're looking for the right mix right now and we have some flexibility so we're going to try to do that. I'm looking for a little bit of change in the way we're playing and executing and hopefully we get a good result."

Chorney will make his season debut, replacing Nate Schmidt on the third defense pairing with Dmitry Orlov.

"It's not necessarily the first time I've been a call-up or a guy where you're in a situation like this," Chorney said. "So for me I'm just excited for the opportunity to get in there and play."

Chorney played seven regular-season games and five Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.

Forward Nicklas Backstrom will not play Thursday but Trotz said there is a possibility he could make his season debut Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes. Backstrom has been recovering from May 27 arthroscopic hip surgery. He was cleared for contact Wednesday.

Scott Darling will start in goal for the Blackhawks on the second game of their back-to-back. Chicago lost 3-0 to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

Here are the projected lineups:


Ryan Garbutt - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Teuvo Teravainen - Viktor Tikhonov

Andrew Desjardins - Marcus Kruger - Andrew Shaw

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Viktor Svedberg - Brent Seabrook

Trevor Daley - Trevor van Riemsdyk

Scott Darling

Corey Crawford

Injured: Michal Rozsival (ankle)

Scratched: Kyle Baun, David Rundblad


Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson - Andre Burakovsky - Justin Williams

Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Brooks Laich - Chandler Stephenson - Stanislav Galiev

Brooks Orpik - John Carlson

Matt Niskanen - Karl Alzner

Taylor Chorney - Dmitry Orlov

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Injured: Nicklas Backstrom (hip), Chris Brown (hand)

Scratched: Michael Latta, Nate Schmidt

Status update: Chimera was present at the morning skate and will play. He missed practice Wednesday and was listed as day-to-day because of a lower-body injury. ... Forward Sean Collins, who was placed on waivers Wednesday, was assigned to Hershey to make room for Stephenson. Collins played in Washington's first two games and had no points.

Who's hot: Kuznetsov will play in his 100th NHL game. ... Ovechkin has 11 points in 10 games against the Blackhawks. … Hossa has 56 points in 51 games against the Capitals.

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