SAN JOSE, Calif. — Ryan Strome was a healthy scratch Friday, the first time that he has been scratched this season and likely an unhappy reminder for the 23-year-old of his ugly 2015-16 season.
Strome started last season on the right wing with John Tavares but within a month was sent down to the AHL, spending three weeks with Bridgeport in November. He returned but slogged through a 28-point season after posting 50 in 2014-15. Strome also was a healthy scratch three times in the playoffs.
He had one point, an assist, in his previous 12 games before Friday’s benching.
“You have to look at the roles and responsibilities of the other guys,” Jack Capuano said when asked why Strome was the one to take a seat. “Anders [Lee] has played well; he’ll be on the top power-play unit [in place of Strome]. We’ve got our forward pairs on the PK. We’re giving Beau [Anthony Beauvillier] a shot on the top line, just see how he continues to grow as a player.”
Lee delivered on the top power-play unit, deflecting Josh Bailey’s shot home at 3:59 of the first. Lee has three goals in his last two games and four on the season, tied for second on the team.
Cal Clutterbuck returned after missing Wednesday’s game with an upper-body injury.
Halak doesn’t dress
Thomas Greiss made his second start in three games after sitting as the backup for the previous seven. J-F Berube dressed as the backup for the third straight game. Jaroslav Halak was in street clothes.
Capuano said he’s open to giving Greiss a run as the starter similar to the run Halak had during the past two weeks. “It’s basically win and you’re in,” Capuano said. “The guys know the situation we’re in, so we have to go with whoever is giving us a chance.”