Caps top 5 plays of the week: 12.9.13
Quick news and notes from Tuesday’s morning skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex as the Caps [16-12-2] face the Lightning [17-10-2] at Verizon Center [7 p.m., CSN]:
Injury update: Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth [lower body injury] returned to the ice and participated in the full practice. Philipp Grubauer, fresh off his first NHL victory, is also on the ice. Center Brooks Laich [groin] skated on Saturday but did not take the ice on Monday or Tuesday. Adam Oates said Braden Holtby [13-9-1, 2,71, .923] will get the start.
Orlov gets promotion: Dmitry Orlov was bumped up to a second pairing with John Carlson on Sunday night and that pairing will remain the same tonight, with Nate Schmidt and Steve Oleksy playing on the third unit.
O from D: Steve Oleksy and Nate Schmidt each scored a goal on Sunday against the Rangers, marking the second consecutive game and the third time this season two Caps defensemen have scored a goal in the same game. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time two Caps defensemen scored a goal in two consecutive games was during the 1999-00 season, when Calle Johansson and Ken Klee each scored a goal on Nov. 11, 1999, and Klee and Dmitri Mironov each scored a goal on Nov. 13, 1999. Capitals defensemen have scored five of the Caps’ last 10 goals and have recorded nine points in the last four games.
Banged-up Lightning: The Lightning are expected to be without Steven Stamkos [broken leg], Ryan Malone [lower body], Victor Hedman [lower body], Keith Aulie [broken hand], Tom Pyatt [broken collar bone] and Brian Lee [knee]. The Lightning were leading the Atlantic Division with a 12-4-0 record before Stamkos’ injury. They are 5-5-2 without him.
Projected lineups for tonight’s game:
Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin
Eric Fehr – Mikhail Grabovski – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Marty Erat – Joel Ward
Aaron Volpatti – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson
Karl Alzner – Mike Green
Dmitry Orlov – John Carlson
Nate Schmidt – Steve Oleksy
Braden Holtby – Philipp Grubauer