The Capitals (45-22-11, 101 points) host the Buffalo Sabres (39-29-9, 87 points) tonight for a 7pm faceoff at Verizon Center. The Caps woke up this morning one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers for tops in the Eastern Conference with both teams having four games remaining. The Sabres are just hanging onto a playoff spot and are only three points up on the Carolina Hurricanes who are currently on the outside looking in. The Sabres will be without their all-star goalie Ryan Miller tonight, who didn’t even make the trip with an injury. Michal Neuvirth (25-11-4, 2.47 GAA, .914 Save pct.) is expected to make his second straight start in net for the Capitals tonight.
Defenseman Sean Collins was recalled today and looks like he’ll play, possibly with Tyler Sloan, tonight. Collins played in 15 games with the Capitals in 2008-2009 and had 1 goal, 1 assist and was +1. John Erskine will not play tonight, but head coach Bruce Boudreau expects him back for Tuesday’s game. Tom Poti and Mike Green both practiced today and look to be getting closer. Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said he hopes to see and talk to Dennis Wideman at Kettler next week and hopefully he can start his rehab as soon as possible. The Caps scratches look like 26, 17, 83 and 4.
Veteran NHL referee Bill McCreary will retire after tonight’s game after officiating 1,737 games. He made his debut November 3, 1984 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md. Bruce Boudreau said, “he’s been one of the best referees if not the best referee in this league for many years.” Boudreau also said he thinks it’s a real honor for them that he chose to end his career in Washington. Check out what Bruce Boudreau, Sean Collins and Boyd Gordon had to say following the game.
Bruce Boudreau Practice Audio
Sean Collins Practice Audio
Boyd Gordon 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.