Way back in the beginning of this week, the trade request of veteran Caps left wing became public knowledge. A few days later, the agent for Caps defense prospect Dmitry Orlov also made it known that he wanted his client moved, too.
Tonight, both Erat and Orlov will be in the lineup against the Islanders in New York as the Caps try to close out November on a strong note and follow up Friday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Canadiens.
Braden Holtby will get the start in goal for the Capitals tonight, starting for the second time in as many nights. Holtby was originally scheduled to face the Islanders here tonight, but was supposed to have had Friday night off. He was pressed into service on short notice just before Friday’s game when Michal Neuvirth – the scheduled starter against the Habs – stepped on a puck as he took the ice for pregame warm-ups in a darkened Verizon Center, suffering a lower body injury as a result.
Neuvirth did not make the trip to the Island with his Caps teammates, and Washington coach Adam Oates did not have an update on his condition this morning.
The Caps recalled goaltender Philipp Grubauer from AHL Hershey on an emergency basis and he joined the team here very early this morning. Grubauer was accompanied by Orlov, who was also summoned from Hershey. Washington reassigned center Michael Latta to Hershey to make room for Orlov on the roster.
Orlov was initially recalled on Oct. 30, the first of five times he has been recalled from the AHL this season. Orlov has yet to see any NHL action in any of those previous four recalls.
The 22-year-old native of Novokuznetsk, Russia debuted with the Capitals two years ago this month and acquitted himself well in a 60-game stint with Washington in 2011-12. Playing with Hershey during the lockout at this time last season, Orlov suffered a concussion that set him back somewhat. He appeared in five games for the Caps last season, the last of which was against the Islanders on March 26 at Verizon Center.
Orlov averaged 16:52 per night for the Caps in 60 games in 2011-12. He averaged 14:57 in the five games in which he played with Washington last season.
With the Bears this season, Orlov has three goals and nine points in 11 games.
With Latta having been sent back to Hershey and with Brooks Laich (who is on the trip) still day-to-day with a lower body injury, Erat will draw back into the Caps’ lineup for the first time since Nov. 22, skating the middle of Washington’s fourth line with Aaron Volpatti and Tom Wilson.