- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

PHILADELPHIA — Taylor Chorney played in 55 games for the Washington Capitals, but he dressed only 10 times in the final eight weeks of the regular season.

That will change on Wednesday, as Chorney will replace the injured Brooks Orpik in Game 4 of the Capitals’ first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers.

“Everybody dreams of getting a chance to play in the playoffs,” Chorney said on Wednesday, after the Capitals’ morning skate. “You just kind of go out there and trust your game and embrace the opportunity.”

Orpik sustained what the team is only describing as an unspecified upper-body injury when he took a hit by the Flyers’ Ryan White midway through the second period on Sunday.

The Capitals will turn to Chorney over Mike Weber, who was acquired via trade with the Buffalo Sabres near the deadline in late February with the specific intent of boosting the defensive depth for the playoffs.

It seems as though Weber’s larger frame and more physical style would serve the Capitals better against the Flyers, who can be eliminated with the loss, but coach Barry Trotz said that Chorney is a better fit simply because he primarily plays on the right side.


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“Chorns has been with us the whole year and has done a really good job,” Trotz said. “I think you go into this game and we’re going to play hockey and, you know, try to get a victory tonight. We’re putting the lineup that we think will best suit us.”

Orpik, Trotz said, is “doing better,” and will continue to be evaluated each day. He missed 40 games earlier this season after breaking a bone in one of his legs on Nov. 10 and returned to the ice on Feb. 16.

Chorney was signed by the Capitals in July after spending last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he appeared in five playoff games.

He had never spent a full year in the NHL until this season — and, before last season, he spent two full years playing in the AHL. A second-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2005, Chorney had played in 68 games in the NHL, with 42 of those spent with the Oilers in 2009-10.

“I’ve been working my whole life to get the opportunity to be a full-time NHL player, and for me, it probably took a little bit longer than it does for most guys to get into the league,” Chorney said. “To be able to do it on a team like this, with so many good players — and just the way things have been working out, it’s been an awesome season.

“Now, I’m getting a chance to get in there and play in the playoffs. This is what it’s all about for a player, and like I said, I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”

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