|Another big one tonight as the push commences.|
Guy Boucher seems likely to go with Mathieu Garon in goal. Garon, who made 22 saves in his last start, the last game before the All-Star break. On the year Garon is 14-13-2 with a 2.92 GAA, .902 save percentage, and one shutout. He has not faced the Capitals this year. Outside the crease, the Bolts are expected to get a huge boost with the return of defenseman Victor Hedman, who has missed the last 13 games with a concussion. Forwards Tom Pyatt and Adam Hall are also likely to return after missing extended periods. They will, however, be without winger Ryan Malone (upper-body), defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron (upper body) and defenseman Mattias Ohlund (knee surgery).
Tomas Vokoun should get the call in goal from Dale Hunter, following a vey nice performance against the Bruins at home last Tuesday night. Vokoun is 20-12 on the year with a 2.56 GAA, .916 save percentage, and two shutouts. He is 2-0 against the Bolts this year, allowing eight goals in those 2 starts. On the injury front, the Capitals will be without both Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) and Mike Green (sports hernia surgery). Captain Alex Ovechkin will also be absent as he serves the second game of a three-match ban for a high hit in Pittsburgh nine days ago. With the recent recall of Joel Rechlicz, the enforcer will make his Capitals debut over Jay Beagle. One thing that is almost certain is that Jeff Schultz will be in the press box again, as John Erskine continues to dress.
Puck drops 7:39-ish. Check back later.