Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates will have a new look to his lineup when his team hosts the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, as forward Joey Crabb and defenseman Tomas Kundratek will make their season debuts.
Kundratek had 26 points in 41 games this season with the Caps' American Hockey League affiliate, the Hershey Bears. He also provides a right-hand shot, something Oates felt his team needed, and also allows him to not have to use John Erskine or Jeff Schultz on their off side.
"It???s more for balance and the game is so fast, you put a guy in the wrong position and sometimes they can???t execute," Oates told the Washington Post.
Kundratek, a 23-year-old Czech Republic native, will be paired at even strength with fellow Czech Roman Hamrlik, 38.
"Obviously he really respects [Hamrlik]," Oates said. "Hamr can slow him down teach him a little bit and hopefully guide him through some situations."
Crabb will play on the fourth line, and Oates said he also could see time on the penalty kill.
Here is the lineup the Capitals likely will use against the Jets:
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Alex Ovechkin
Wojtek Wolski - Mike Ribeiro - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Mathieu Perreault - Joey Crabb
Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Tom Poti - Mike Green
Roman Hamrlik - Tomas Kundratek
Injured: Brooks Laich, Jack Hillen
Scratches: Eric Fehr, Jeff Schultz, John Erskine.