The Capitals had a short morning skate at KCI today, and while the mood was predictably upbeat in the locker room, there remained uncertainty surrounding who would be starting in goal tonight against Florida.
Jose Theodore, who suffered a hip flexor Tuesday night against the New York Islanders, participated and appeared to be moving fine, and the team yesterday sent Braden Holtby back down to Hershey, but Coach Bruce Boudreau was noncommittal after the skate.
"We'll have one in net," he said when asked about the goalie situation.
Then when asked if he was leaning toward either Theodore or Michal Neuvirth, Boudreau said: "Probably, but I'm not relaying the information."
With the way the Capitals have been playing lately, who's in goal hasn't really mattered. Washington is on an eight-game winning streak, which is the second longest in franchise history. The Capitals won 10 in a row in 1983-84.
The winning streak coincidentally began against Florida, which is battling for a postseason berth, with a 5-4 shootout victory on Jan. 13. During the run, the Capitals have outscored their opponents 40-18.
"We're cognizant of saying, 'Don't have a letdown tonight.' We can't let down," center Brooks Laich said. "We know that we're at eight wins in a row, and [the Panthers] know it. So Florida is going to say, 'We need to beat those guys. We want to be the team that knocks them off, make a statement to the rest of the league.' They're in the playoff hunt, so we approach every game very serious. We're still desperate to win hockey games."