The Capitals have recalled a pair of forward reinforcements from the Hershey Bears and there’s a real chance one of them will make his Stanley Cup playoff debut Friday night in Game 5 against the New York Rangers [7:30, CSN].
Right wings Tom Wilson and Joey Crabb joined the Caps at practice on Thursday and took turns on a fourth line with center Jay Beagle and left wing Matt Hendricks.
Since Marty Erat did not practice on Thursday after suffering an apparent left arm/wrist injury in Game 4, Adam Oates needs to make a choice between Wilson, Crabb, Aaron Volpatti and Wojtek Wolski for Friday night’s Game 5.
Wilson, 19, was taken by the Caps with the 16th pick overall in last year’s NHL draft. He made his pro debut with Hershey in Game 3 of the AHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals against Providence and recorded one goal and six penalty minutes in three playoff games with the Bears.
He recently completed his season with Plymouth after helping the Whalers reach the OHL Western Conference Championship series, where they fell to London in five games. Wilson earned OHL Player of the Week honors for the week ending April 21 and collected six goals, two assists and 12 penalty minutes in his last four games of the championship series. Wilson recorded 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) and 41 penalty minutes in his 12-playoff games.
A Toronto native, Wilson recorded 58 points (23 goals, 35 assists) and 104 penalty minutes in 48 regular season games with Plymouth this season. He ranked fifth on Plymouth in points, tied for sixth in goals and second in penalty minutes despite missing 20 games. The 6’4”, 210-pound forward was recalled on Jan. 12 to participate in the Capitals training camp.
Crabb, 30, collected two goals and eight penalty minutes in 26 games with Washington this season and six goals and six assists in 12 games with Hershey. He led the Bears with five goals in five games during the Calder Cup Playoffs.
With Erat apparently out of the lineup, here’s how the Caps’ forward lines looked on
Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-Alex Ovechkin
Eric Fehr-Mike Ribeiro-Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera-Mathieu Perreault-Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks-Jay Beagle-Tom Wilson
Wojtek Wolski-Joey Crabb-Aaron Volpatti-Brooks Laich