Morning skate notes: Caps vs. Lightning

Morning skate notes: Caps vs. Lightning
December 10, 2013, 10:45 am
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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:


Forward Lines

Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin

Eric Fehr – Mikhail Grabovski – Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera – Marty Erat – Joel Ward

Aaron Volpatti – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson

Defense Pairings

Karl Alzner – Mike Green

Dmitry Orlov – John Carlson

Nate Schmidt – Steve Oleksy


Braden Holtby – Philipp Grubauer