The Capitals (22-17-2, 46 points) host the Tampa Bay Lightning (17-21-4, 38 points) tonight in game two of a four game home stand for the Caps. The Lightning come in losers of five in a row including a 5-2 loss at home against Carolina last night. The Caps on the other hand are 6-3-1 in their last ten, 7-1-0 in their last eight home games and come off a 1-0 shutout over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.
Yesterday the Caps put Mike Green on Long Term Injured Reserve with a continual groin injury and recalled Cody Eakin from Hershey. Green can’t return until February1st. Eakin has three goals, three assists in twenty career NHL games.
Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter said “no, no, no” when asked if he thought Green could miss the rest of the season and said the reason they put Green on LTIR was to combine the time now and the all-star break in two weeks to give him plenty of time to re-gain strength in his groin.
Nicklas Backstrom is still on IR, but can be activated any time, so Tomas Kundratek is still with the team and will be making his second consecutive start.
The Caps forward lines today looked like: Ovechkin-Johansson-Semin, Knuble-Laich-Brouwer, Hendricks-Halpern-Ward, Chimera-Eakin-Beagle.
Tomas Vokoun (17-10-0, 2.56 GAA, .915 Save pct.) will be in goal for the Caps and starting his eighth straight game.
Mathieu Perreault, John Erskine and Jeff Schultz expected to be the healthy scratches for the Caps.
Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Alex Ovechkin, Jason Chimera & Cody Eakin had to say following the morning skate today.
Dale Hunter Morning Skate Audio
Alex Ovechkin Morning Skate Audio
Jason Chimera Morning Skate Audio
Cody Eakin Morning Skate Audio