With Eric Fehr expected to miss tonight’s game between the Capitals [15-16-1, 31 points] and New York Islanders [14-15-3, 31 points], Wojtek Wolski will be inserted back in the lineup for the first time since March 12.
Wolski skated on a line with center Mathieu Perreault and left wing Jason Chimera at Tuesday’s morning skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
“Those two guys create a lot of turnovers and get us some good offensive zone time,” Wolski said. “Chimmer creates a lot of opportunities to get the puck back and ‘P’ is really good with the puck. I just need to get open and play well.
Signed to a one-year, $600,000 contact over the summer, Wolski played 23 of the Caps’ first 25 games. But after netting just four goals and four assists, he was taken out of the lineup in favor of Marcus Johansson and has been a healthy scratch the past seven games.
Asked what Oates told him when he took him out of the lineup, Wolski said, “We didn’t talk about anything.”
Oates said he wants Wolski to play the way he did before getting pulled from the lineup,
“With the roster and the numbers, he’s been out, but when he jumped in he played good and I expect that tonight,” Oates said. “I don’t need to remind him.”
“I’m on the third line, so whatever minutes I get I need to make the best of it, take some chances, get in on the forecheck and gain momentum for our team.”
Tonight’s goalies: Braden Holtby [13-10-0, 2.64 GAA, .917] is expected to face Evgeni Nabokov [14-10-3, 2.83, .902] tonight. Nabokov has killed the Caps during his 12-year career, going 11-1-2 with a 2.18 GAA and .925 save percentage.
Holtby will be starting his sixth straight game. Nabokov has played in all but five of the Islanders’ 32 games.
Oates said his plan is to give Michal Neuvirth, who has not played since March 16, one of the back-to-back road games in Buffalo and Philadelphia Easter weekend.