- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 29, 2017

Capitals coach Barry Trotz is making a change to his fourth line for Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Seldom-used center Paul Carey will replace forward Brett Connolly, whose minutes have decreased throughout the playoffs. Connolly will be inactive.

Carey, 28, played in just six regular season games and has only played in three career playoff games. Carey has been with the Capitals since the 2015-16 season after playing two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche. 

Trotz said Carey is a “tremendous” skater with the ability to pressure and get to space.  

“What we’re trying to do, (Carey will) be a real good fit,” Trotz said. “He’s a hard worker. I just think he’ll get an opportunity. He hasn’t had that opportunity. When he’s gone in, he’s done a great job. Just looking for a little bit of a fit.”

Trotz said he let Carey know last night about the change. Once finding out, Carey said he hardly slept. Game 2 will be Carey’s first playoff game as a Capitals player.

“I’m very amped. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Carey said. “It definitely wasn’t fun watching last year and being in the stands for that run, but I’m just glad to be able to be healthy and ready to go.”

Connolly has averaged 8:34 per game in the playoffs so far, but his minutes were slashed after Game 3 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Round 1. Connolly played only 6:07 against Pittsburgh in Game 1. 
Connolly signed a one-year, $850,000 contract with the Capitals in July. He previously played for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins. The 24-year-old will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. 
Connolly said he didn’t see the move coming.
“It’s something I can’t control,” Connolly said. “[Carey] is going to go in there and do a great job and we’ll leave it at that.”

Trotz also acknowledged Connolly wasn’t getting enough ice time to create an impact. 

“I didn’t think through a little bit of the Toronto series and this first game, he’s not getting enough looks, I’m not getting him enough time,” Trotz said. “I’m just looking for a little bit of a different look there.

“He’s probably not happy that he’s not in. Everybody wants to be in at this time of year, but he’s been a real good pro. He understands what we’re trying to do and he will just prepare.”

Game 2 is Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Verizon Center. 
ALZNER OUT
Despite being a full participant in Saturday’s morning skate, defenseman Karl Alzner will miss his sixth consecutive game with an upper body injury.
 
Asked if Alzner is still awaiting medical clearance, Trotz said he’s getting close and is day-to-day.
Alzner played in the first two games against the Maple Leafs, but has missed every game since. 

 

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