The Caps take off today for back to backs with Ottawa and Montreal that will conclude their six game road trip. Their longest road trip of the season has gone very well so far winning three of the first four. Mike Green hasn’t played since the February 25th 6-0 loss to the Rangers and hasn’t made it through a full practice since then. Since the Caps came home late Thursday, Green hasn’t practiced with the team once, but head coach Bruce Boudreau said Green is doing a lot better today and they’ll know by Monday if he’ll get any regular season games in before the playoffs. The Caps have won 11 of 12 since Green was re-injured, but he is a crucial part for them to make a long playoff run.
Jason Arnott and Alex Ovechkin each skated before practice in warm ups, but Ovechkin also wore knee pads. Boudreau said Ovechkin was skating pretty good out there today and is anxious to get back. He also said he thinks today was the longest they’ve been on the ice and they’ll get more each day. Tom Poti was back at practice today, he practiced fully but still no timetable on his return. Boudreau said none of the injured players, Ovechkin, Arnott, Poti & Green, will travel with the team. Marcus Johansson took a puck to his face at the end of practice, might require some stitches, but is alright and ready to play.
Michal Neuvirth (24-11-4, 2.46 GAA, .915 Save pct.) is expected to make his fourth consecutive start Friday in Ottawa. Semyon Varlamov (10-8-4, 2.27 GAA, .923 Save pct.) is expected to make his first start since February 20th on Saturday in Montreal. Boudreau said yesterday he wants to split the two goaltenders starts either 4 and 4 or 5 and 3 the last eight games of the year and will go with the hotter goaltender to start the playoffs. The Caps forward lines looked like this today 16-21-19-28, 25-90-22, 18-15-10, 17-83-26. Check out what Bruce Boudreau, Nicklas Backstrom, Scott Hannnan, Michal Neuvirth, Karl Alzner, Dennis Wideman & Matt Bradley had to say before they take off to Ottawa today.
Bruce Boudreau Practice Audio
Nicklas Backstrom Practice Audio
Scott Hannan Practice Audio
Michal Neuvirth Practice Audio
Karl Alzner Practice Audio
Dennis Wideman Practice Audio
Matt Bradley Practice Audio
Sky Kerstein is 106.7 The FAN’s Capitals Beat Reporter and co-host of “Morning Skate” every Sunday from 9am-10am on 106.7 The FAN. Also you can find video recaps of every Caps game and post-game interviews on www.1067thefandc.com. You can get in touch with Sky on Facebook or via Twitter at www.twitter.com/SkyKerstein.