Even without Mike Green (groin) the Capitals blue line has combined for 12 goals and 36 assists for 48 points. In 21 games. A defenseman has contributed at least one point in 19 of the Caps 21 games this season.
The Caps are keeping a close eye on defenseman John Erskine, whose bruised shoulder kept him out of the past three games. If Erskine cannot play tonight against the Buffalo Sabres the Caps will stay with rookie Dmitry Orlov, who had an assist on Friday but committed four tunrovers.
If Erskine can play coach Bruce Boudreau must decide between Orlov and Jeff Schultz, who was a plus-1.
The Capitals committed 17 turnovers in their 6-3 loss to the Rangers, including a team-high five by D Dennis Wideman and four by rookie D Dmitry Orlov. The trick, coach Bruce Boudreau said, is getting skilled players to dump the puck instead of trying to stickhandle around opponents
G Michal Neuvirth had little chance on four of the Rangers six goals but was shaky on two of them. "Like a few of our players, there's a lack of confidence in his game right now," Boudreau said of Neuvirth, who is now 2-4-1 with a 3.82 GAA and .868 save percentage. "We've just got to get him a little mentally stronger."