The Capitals switched their lines around once again today as they prepare for the Nashville Predators who’ve won five in a row, seven of their last ten in all one goal games.
Mike Knuble is playing in his 1,000th NHL game tonight and will be the second oldest player to reach that mark. Knuble is also the first Michigan Wolverine alum to get to 1,000 games in the NHL. He is also the sixth player to reach 1,000 games while playing for the Capitals. Dale Hunter was the first player to play in 1,000 games while playing for the Capitals. All the Caps will be wearing commemorative “Knuble” jersey’s today during warm ups and each jersey will have “22” on them.
“I didn’t really know that til I was on twitter last night and I saw it on twitter, so other people knew,” Mike Knuble said on the team wearing his jersey in warm ups tonight. “I know my wife has been up to things behind the scenes a little bit, so it’s just kind of like you just kind of roll with what happens, I think that’s very nice, it’s a great chance to play this game in Washington as a Capital, I’m very happy with that and it will be flattering I’m sure when you see it you know the guys on the ice, you just be a little bit flattered I think is the way to describe how you feel.”
Michal Neuvirth (4-6-1, 3.27 GAA, .889 Save pct.) will be in goal for the Capitals tonight and he comes off a 2-1 loss in Colorado on Saturday.
All the healthy Capitals came off at the same time today, so not sure who the healthy scratch will be tonight. Mike Green skated once again before the morning skate today, but got off the ice soon after the morning skate started. Jay Beagle skated the morning skate and took an extra skate doing a lot of sprints as he works himself into game shape.
Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter wouldn’t give the line combos tonight, but did say he is shaking up the lines due to match ups with the Nashville Predators. One possible scenario for the forward lines tonight is: 8-21-20, 90-19-28, 25-15-42, 26-85-22. But they also did 8-15-20, 90-19-28, 25-21-42, 26-85-22 during line rushes, so it looks like we won’t know for sure until warm ups.
The Predators come off a four game home stand and defeated the St. Louis Blues Saturday night in a shootout 2-1. They also boast one of the best, if not the best, defensive pairings in the NHL with Shea Weber (+15) and Ryan Suter (+11) and they’ll be on the ice a lot with Alex Ovechkin tonight. During their five game winning streak the Predators have outscored their opponents 14-10, but have been out shot 157-136.
Andres Lindback (2-2-0, 2.52 GAA, .903 Save pct.) is likely in goal for the Predators tonight.
Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Mike Knuble, Jeff Halpern & Brooks Laich had to say following practice today.
Dale Hunter Practice Audio
Mike Knuble Practice Audio
Jeff Halpern Practice Audio
Brooks Laich Practice Audio