|Welcome to the thunderdome. Win or go home.|
The Blues will start Jaroslav Halak in goal, leaving the NHL's best goalie in terms of winning percentage, save percentage, and goals against average (Brian Elliott) on the bench. We all know why Halak is infamous to Caps fans, but on the year the Slovak netminder is 3-7-2 with a 2.57 GAA, .895 save percentage, and one shutout. He made 25 saves his last time out, a 3-2 loss to the Kings on November 2nd. St. Louis will be missing two of their top forwards for this game, as David Perron and Andy McDonald are both still out with concussions that have kept them from game action for a long period. Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo will also be absent because of a hamstring injury, while fellow blueliner Kent Huskins is out with an ankle injury that required surgery earlier this season.
With a new man in charge, speculating on a starting goalie for the Capitals is pointless, though it seems that Tomas Vokoun will earn the nod. Both goaltenders have been very poor over the last month. Vokoun let in five goals on 28 shots in his last outing, a loss in Buffalo, while Michal Neuvirth allowed six goals on 33 shots in his last outing, a 6-3 loss to the Rangers inside Verizon Center. Both have season GAAs above 2.8 and save percentages below .906, and it remains to be seen who Hunter will call upon to right the ship. Mike Green, who skated Monday for the second time since getting hurt (again) on November 11th, is out, as is Jay Beagle, who has missed the last six weeks with a concussion. John Erskine, who had missed the last week or so with a shoulder injury, will return to the lineup, meaning Jeff Schultz is scratched. Cody Eakin, who was the healthy scratch among the forwards last game, will return to the lineup in the place of Mathieu Perreault.
Puck drops for this one 7:08-ish. Um, check back later.