Facing his first back-to-back games decision since his roster was reduced to two goalies, Capitals coach Adam Oates will turn to Braden Holtby to face the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Nationwide Arena [7 p.m., CSN].
It will be the third straight start for Holtby, who allowed four goals on 27 shots in Tuesday night’s 5-4 overtime win in Buffalo.
Holtby [15-12-2, 2.94, .912] also started Saturday night’s 5-0 win in Montreal, which snapped the Capitals’ seven-game losing streak.
Holtby has faced the Blue Jackets three times in his NHL career and is 2-0-0 with a 2.25 GAA and .931 save percentage. He’s expected to face Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who is 17-13-2 this season with a 2.61 GAA and .913 save percentage.
[RELATED: Winter Classic coming to Washington]
In six career appearances against the Caps, Bobrovsky is 2-1-2 with a 3.15 GAA and .902 save percentage.
With the Caps set to visit the Red Wings in Detroit on Friday night Oates said his tentative plan is to start Michal Neuvirth [3-5-1, 2.79, .915] against the Red Wings.
The Caps will be without center Mikhail Grabovski for the third straight game, which means another night with Brooks Laich centering a second line with Marty Erat on his left and Troy Brouwer on his right.
Here is a look at the other Caps’ forward lines and defense pairs, along with the Blue Jackets’ projected lineup, heading into tonight’s game:
Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin
Marty Erat – Brooks Laich – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson
Eric Fehr – Casey Wellman – Joel Ward
Extras: Aaron Volpatti, Ryan Stoa
Karl Alzner – John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov – Mike Green
John Erskine - Connor Carrick
Braden Holtby [starter] – Michal Neuvirth
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Cam Atkinson
R.J. Umberger – Ryan Johansen – Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner – Artem Anisimov – Nathan Horton
Derek MacKenzie – Mark Letestu – Blake Comeau
Extras: Tim Erixon, Corey Tropp
Jack Johnson - Fedor Tyutin
Ryan Murray – James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin - CodyGoloubef
Extra: David Savard
Sergei Bobrovsky [starter] – Curtis McElhinney