Reporting Sky Kerstein
The Capitals had their morning skate at Madison Square Garden today but with one notable exception, Mike Knuble. Knuble injured his right hand on a Mike Green slap shot seconds before he scored the game tying goal late in the third period on Sunday. Knuble didn’t practice the last two days and wasn’t on the ice for the morning skate today. After talking to multiple players it looks like Knuble won’t be able to go tonight.
If Knuble, who has one goal this series, is indeed out of the line up tonight, Eric Fehr (10 goals, 10 assists in 52 games) will make his 2011 playoff debut after being a healthy scratch in the Caps first three playoff games. In 21 career NHL playoff games, Fehr has four goals and one assist. Jason Chimera would then be moved up to the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
The lines could look something like this tonight: 8-19-25, 18-44-28, 21-90-16, 26-15-10, 55-52, 27-74, 4-23, 30. Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Marco Sturm all took their option and didn’t participate in the morning skate, but are expected to play. Tyler Sloan, Sean Collins, Jay Beagle and DJ King all skated extra and are expected to be healthy scratches.
Michal Neuvirth (2-1, 1.22 GAA, .951 Save pct., 1 shutout) is in goal for the Capitals making his fourth straight playoff start. Henrik Lundqvist (1-2, 1.84 GAA, .921 Save pct.) will be in net for the Rangers in this crucial game four. The Caps lead the series 2-1 and tonight is pivotal game four in which both teams really need the win. Game five is Saturday at Verizon Center and the Caps would love to have a 3-1 lead. If the Rangers win tonight they’ll have all the momentum going back to DC and would have the chance to clinch the series in a game six at Madison Square Garden. Face off is set for 7pm tonight.
Capitals defenseman John Carlson wasn’t named one of the finalists of the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) yesterday and said following practice today, “I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t like to be on it.” Check out what Bruce Boudreau, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Chimera, John Carlson and Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella had to say today.
Bruce Boudreau Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Nicklas Backstrom Practice Audio
Jason Chimera Practice Audio
Eric Fehr Practice Audio
John Carlson Practice Audio
Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella
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.