In a tight salary cap bind, the Washington Capitals recalled goaltender Vitek Vanecek and forward Travis Boyd on Saturday and reassigned defenseman Tyler Lewington and goaltender Ilya Samsonov to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey, Pa.

The roster moves were salary cap related, forced by injuries to Nic Dowd (hand) and Carl Hagelin (upper body), who are both considered day-to-day. Vanecek’s cap hit of $716,667 is lower than Samsonov’s $925,000 so the move allowed the Capitals to have enough money to recall Boyd as the team’s 12th healthy forward for Saturday game against Boston. Coach Todd Reirden said Friday he was unsure if either Hagelin or Dowd could play against the Bruins. Vanecek will back up starting goaltender Braden Holtby on Saturday.

On Friday in the Capitals’ 5-2 loss to Montreal, the team dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen after Dowd and Hagelin were ruled out in the morning. The team only had enough free cap space to call up the cheapest player in the organization: defenseman Tyler Lewington, who carries a $675,000 cap hit. Any forward, like Boyd, carried at least a $700,000 cap hit. Lewington played a few shifts as a forward Friday night — the first time he’s played in that position since he was 10 years old.

With the swap of Lewington and Boyd on the roster for Saturday, it is expected Boyd will be in the lineup against the Bruins. Before being sent down to Hershey when Richard Panik was activated off long-term injured reserve on Monday, Boyd was playing on the fourth line. Boyd has four assists in six games for Washington this season.

The move to send down Samsonov is a temporary solution to the Capitals’ salary cap situation, with both Samsonov and Vanecek waivers-exempt. The Hershey Bears recalled goaltender Parker Milner from the ECHL on Friday.

As for the Capitals’ two injured forwards, Hagelin has now missed his fourth straight game. The 31-year-old winger played on the third line for the first 17 games of the season and had no goals and five assists. His injury was announced Nov. 8, when he did not participate in the team’s optional skate after not appearing to miss any shifts during a 5-4 overtime win at Florida the previous night.

Dowd was injured during Wednesday’s 2-1 shootout win at the Philadelphia Flyers. He was called for tripping in the third period, and his hand was gashed in the process. He eventually returned to the bench but did not take another shift. On Thursday, he was on the ice for the Capitals’ optional morning skate, getting looked at by trainers and skating on his own. Dowd has played 14 games this season, recording two goals and two assists.

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