Backup Peter Budaj will get the call in goal from Randy Cunneyworth for just the eighth time this season. Budaj is 2-4-1 in his seven starts this year with a 2.69 GAA and .910 save percentage. Outside the crease, the Canadiens will be without two of their top players, as captain Brian Gionta (pectoral surgery) and defenseman Andrei Markov (knee surgery complications) will be absent. Center Petteri Nokelainen, winger Ryan White, and winger Travis Moen are also out with various ailments.
Tomas Vokoun has been confirmed as the starter for the Capitals after Michal Neuvirth's sub-par performance on Wednesday night. Vokoun is 20-12-1 on the year with a 2.60 GAA, .915 save percentage, and two shutouts. He has yet to face the team that originally drafted him this year. On the injury front, both Mike Green (sports hernia surgery) and Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) are out. The Capitals will get a boost, however, as captain Alex Ovechkin will play for the first time in almost three weeks after serving the final game of a three-game suspension Wednesday night. Jeff Schultz, who played Wednesday, will probably be back in the press box, and Jay Beagle should remain scratched in favor of recent call-up Keith Aucoin.
Puck drops 2:08-ish. And in other news, I will be on the Habs360 radio show in Montreal at 5:15 after the game to talk Caps. Follow me on Twitter here for the link to the show.