Alex Ovechkin is back from Russia and ready to go as the Capitals prepare for opening night tonight at Verizon Center against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes come off a 5-1 opening night loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night in Raleigh. Jeff Skinner had the lone Hurricanes goal and goalie Cam Ward had 29 saves.
Dennis Wideman was the only Capitals player not to participate in this morning’s morning skate, but Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said it was an optional skate and that he is ok.
The Caps lines should look something like this tonight: Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble, Brouwer-Perreault-Semin, Chimera-Laich-Ward, Hendricks-Halpern-Beagle, Alzner-Carlson, Hamrlik-Green, Schultz-Wideman and Michal Neuvirth in goal. Tomas Vokoun, the Caps big free agent steal will back up Neuivrth as was reported yesterday. Boudreau would not comment on who is or isn’t starting in goal for the second straight day.
Vokoun said after practice that he hasn’t talked to Boudreau, only Caps goaltending coach Dave Prior, and that he was told that he would play against Tampa on Monday and that they made this decision to recognize Neuvirth for a good camp. He also pointed out that he was told the decision was not a reflection on him.
The likely healthy scratches are Marcus Johansson and DJ King while John Erskine is still not cleared for contact and is a non-roster player as of now. But Boudreau did slip in there at the end on Johansson, “he practiced hard this week and he’s taking warm up tonight, you never know, he still might be in”.
Listen here to the full Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau press conference following the morning skate today.
Bruce Boudreau Morning Skate Press Conference
Listen here to what Alex Ovechkin, Tomas Vokoun, Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom, Joel Ward & Mathieu Perreault had to say as they prepare for opening night against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.
Alex Ovechkin Morning Skate Audio
Tomas Vokoun Morning Skate Audio
Mike Knuble Morning Skate Audio
Nicklas Backstrom Morning Skate Audio
Joel Ward Morning Skate Audio
Mathieu Perreault Morning Skate Audio