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Capitals to likely insert Burakovsky for injured Fehr

by David Satriano /

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Washington Capitals will look to even their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Islanders at 2-2 in Game 4 at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN360, TVA Sports 2, CSN-DC, MSG+) without veteran forward Eric Fehr, who will likely be replaced in the lineup by rookie Andre Burakovsky.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz wouldn't say if Burakovsky or fellow rookie Michael Latta would be in the lineup, but it is expected to be Burakovsky.

"Just enjoy the moment," Trotz said about a rookie being in the lineup. "Just compete in it and focus. Don't try to do anything you're not capable of doing."

Burakovsky was a healthy scratch in the first three games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after playing in 53 games during the regular season.

"It's a huge game," Burakovsky said after an optional practice Tuesday. "The most important game of the year. Just going to go out there and follow our game plan and try to outwork them like we did in Game 2. If we do that we have a great chance to win the game tonight."

Fehr, who played 1:19 in a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 3 on Sunday, will be out of the lineup for Games 4 and 5 because of an upper-body injury. He has played nine seasons with the Capitals, including 33 playoff games.

"[Fehr] is a really important player for our team," Burakovsky said. "He's one of our best centerman. He's a two-way player that's really good in the D-zone too. We are going to miss him out there."

The Islanders have scored the first goal in each of the first three games, and the Capitals are hoping that changes in Game 4.

"It would be huge," Trotz said. "We've been chasing this whole series. They have been scoring early. It would give us a lot of confidence. It would put the onus and pressure on them a little bit."

Forward Marcus Johansson, who sustained a lower-body injury in Game 3, will be in the lineup.

"I'm ready to play," Johansson said. "I want to play tonight and I feel good that I can play and that's all that matters to me."

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex OvechkinNicklas BackstromJoel Ward

Marcus JohanssonEvgeny KuznetsovTroy Brouwer

Jason ChimeraAndre BurakovskyJay Beagle

Curtis GlencrossBrooks LaichTom Wilson

Brooks OrpikJohn Carlson

Karl AlznerMatt Niskanen

Tim GleasonMike Green

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Michael Latta, Justin Peters

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


Nikolay KuleminJohn TavaresRyan Strome

Josh BaileyFrans NielsenKyle Okposo

Anders LeeBrock NelsonTyler Kennedy

Matt MartinCasey CizikasCal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan - Brian Strait

Thomas Hickey - Lubomir Visnovsky

Jaroslav Halak

Michal Neuvirth

Status report: Washington likely will have no other lineup changes other than Burakovsky or Latta in for Fehr. Holtby will start in net.

Who's hot: Backstrom has two goals and four points in the series.

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