|Braden Holtby will face his toughest test of the year today.|
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will give rookie goalie Corey Crawford the start in goal for his squad. Crawford, who was expected to backup veteran Marty Turco this year, has been a revelation for Chicago, winning 26 games this year to go along with a 2.26 GAA, .917 Save%, and 3 shutouts in 43 games. Crawford has proved that he is one of the best goalies in the league this year, and will be tough for the Caps. On the injury front, defenseman Brian Campbell is a game-time decision for the Hawks with a lower body injury.
For Washington, Bruce Boudreau will roll with Braden Holtby in nets for the third consecutive game. Holtby has only given up 1 goal in his last 140 minutes of play at the NHL level, and has won the last three games for the Capitals. On the season, Holtby has seven wins, a 1.85 GAA, a .934 Save%, and a shutout in eleven games played. Outside the crease, Washington is expected to be without star centerman Nicklas Backstrom for the third consecutive game as he works his way back from a broken thumb. As a result, no lineup changes are expected from Boudreau, which means that Tyler Sloan, DJ King, and Jay Beagle will remain healthy scratches for Washington.
Puck drops for this one 12:40-ish, and remember it is being broadcast on national TV by NBC. Check back after the game.