|Winning ugly? Meh, it's early. I'll take it.|
Brand new Florida coach Kevin Dineen is likely to start his backup goaltender, top prospect Jacob Markstrom, in goal tonight because starter Jose Theodore played last night in Tampa Bay. Markstrom has yet to play in a game this year, and only has one appearance in his NHL career, in which he allowed three goals on 21 shots in two periods of action. Nevertheless, Markstrom is one of the most highly regarded young goaltenders in hockey and is expected to be all that and a bag of chips, so the Caps will not be getting off easy if they do in fact face the young Swede. The Panthers are missing center Mike Santorelli due to a shoulder injury, but otherwise should have everyone healthy for tonight's game.
For Washington, Bruce Boudreau will likely give the nod in goal to Tomas Vokoun, who has started the Caps' last three games and won them all while posting a 2.57 GAA and .922 save percentage. He is likely to be backed up by either Dany Sabourin or Braden Holtby, as Michal Neuvirth is still "very sore" because of a bruised right foot. On the injury front, Tom Poti (groin) and John Erskine (shoulder) are both out with long term injuries, while Jay Beagle hasn't practiced since his fight with Arron Asham because of facial injuries and is very questionable at best. DJ King is likely to be the healthy scratch, with Mathieu Perreault returning to the fourth line in his stead.
Puck drops for this one 7:08-ish.