The Capitals host the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight for a 7pm faceoff in game one of the NHL Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. The Capitals and Red Wings are the only two teams in the playoffs that haven’t lost a playoff home game yet and the Caps are all time 3-1 in the first game of the second round at home. The Caps have a huge rest advantage, they’ve had five full days off to the Lightning’s one after they defeated Pittsburgh Wednesday night.
Michal Neuvirth (4-1, 1.38 GAA, .946 Save pct., 1 shutout) will start his sixth career playoff game in goal for the Capitals against the Lightning’s Dwayne Roloson (4-3, 1.77 GAA, .949 Save pct., 1 shutout) who will play in his 41st career playoff game tonight.
Players on the Lightning to look out for for: Captain Center Vincent Lecavalier (2 goals, 4 assists), Defenseman Mattias Ohlund (1 goal, 1 assist, +3), Left wing Ryan Malone (1 goal, 1 assist), Left wing Simon Gagne (2 goals, 5 assists), Defenseman Pavel Kubina (2 goals, 1 assist, +1), Left wing Sean Bergenheim (3 goals, 1 assist), Right wing Martin St. Louis (4 goals, 4 assists), Defenseman Eric Brewer (1 goal, 4 assists) and Center Steven Stamkos (2 goals, 2 assists). Lecavalier, St. Louis and Kubina were part of the 2003-2004 Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup winning team.
The Caps likely line up tonight: 21-19-8, 18-44-28, 25-90-16, 26-15-10, 55-52, 27-74, 4-23, 30. The likely scratches are Knuble, Wideman, Sloan, Collins, King, Beagle, Poti and the Hershey call ups. Check out what Bruce Boudreau, Alex Ovechkin and Matt Bradley had to say after the morning skate today.
Bruce Boudreau Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin 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.