Reporting Sky Kerstein
The Capitals (47-22-11, 105 points) host the Florida Panthers (29-38-12, 70 points) in their last regular season home game at Verizon Center tonight for a 7pm faceoff. The Caps clinched their fourth straight Southeast Division title last night and are two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for first in the Eastern Conference with both having two games remaining. The Capitals control their own destiny for first in the East and will travel to Florida to play the Panthers in their regular season finale on Saturday. The Flyers are at the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and end their regular season hosting the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Mike Green will not play tonight, but both him and Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau expect him to play in the regular season finale on Saturday. Boudreau said he doesn’t expect Tom Poti to play in either of the Caps last two games, but if it comes down to it in the playoffs and they need him, he’ll play. Poti has only played in 21 games this season battling a groin injury and hasn’t played since January 12th. Capitals General Manager said on a Toronto radio station yesterday that Dennis Wideman is still in the hospital, but expected to be released from the hospital this week and then begin rehab. Wideman’s status for the playoffs is still unknown, but doesn’t look good. Boudreau said Alexander Semin is a game time decision after missing yesterday’s game and that Tyler Sloan probably will return to the line up tonight.
Semyon Varlamov (10-9-5, 2.24 GAA, .923 Save pct.) will be in net for the Caps tonight, trying to make a last second bid for the #1 goaltender spot for the playoffs. Varlamov last played March 29th in a shootout loss to the Hurricanes, while stopping 24 of 26 shots. The Caps had a very optional morning skate today, this is who was on the ice: Green, Varlamov, Neuvirth, Alzner, King, Semin, Erskine, Beagle, Collins, Johansson, Carlson and Sloan. Check out what Bruce Boudreau, Mike Green and John Erskine had to say following the skate.
Bruce Boudreau Practice Audio
Mike Green Practice Audio
John Erskine 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.