The Capitals (14-5-1) play host to the Winnipeg Jets (10-10-2) tonight’s at Verizon Center. Puck-drop for tonight’s turkey-day appetizer is 7:08 PM. The Capitals will face the Tampa Bay Lightning at 5:00 PM on “Black” Friday, before heading north of the border for a 3-game stretch with stops in Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg.
Andre Burakovsky returned to this morning’s starting practice lines. It appears that Stanislav Galiev will be the healthy scratch tonight. Brooks Orpik will once again be out of the line up tonight. Practice lines from this morning’s skate:
With Stanislav Galiev out, Matt Niskanen was back in the “Ovi spot” on the second power play unit. Braden Holtby was the first goalie off this ice this morning, and will get the start tonight.
The Jets’ last outing was a 4-1 home loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night in Winnipeg. Michael Hutchinson is expected to start his second consecutive game since Ondrej Pavelec sustained a knee injury Nov. 21 against the Arizona Coyotes.
The struggling Capitals’ power play may be in for a treat tonight. The Jets PK is struggling right now, having given up 11 PP goals in their last 7 games. According to Winnipeg media, former Cap and fan-favorite Mathieu Perreault will be in tonight’s lineup.
The Capitals currently sit alone in second place of the Metropolitan Division, 5-points behind the first place New York Rangers, and five points ahead of the 3rd place Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Capitals have won seven of their last eight games against the Jets (7-1-0) and have won three consecutive home games against Winnipeg. Braden Holtby is 7-3-0 in his career against the Jets with two shutouts, a 2.17 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.
As noted earlier, Brooks Orpik is out of the lineup again tonight. Orpik has missed six straight games since sustaining a lower body injury on November 10th in Detroit. As per Isabelle Khurshudyan, Trotz maintains that Orpik’s ailment isn’t serious. Just needs time, he said. Trotz said there’s no timetable for Orpik. “It’s just not coming around as quick as we’d like it, but at the same time, we’re in no hurry.”
As per Isabelle Khurshudyan, Andre Burakovsky said one of the things he’s looking to do now that he’s back in the lineup is play “heavier.”