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Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 03/08/2012

Tomas Vokoun to start against Tampa Bay

Tomas Vokoun will start tonight for the Capitals against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Verizon Center. It marks the veteran goaltender’s first game since Feb. 22 at Ottawa, when he allowed four goals on 11 shots and was pulled after 32 minutes of play.

Vokoun missed time briefly with a lower-body injury, possibly a groin ailment, but has practiced for four consecutive days and said he isn’t concerned about any rust.

“It’s [16] games left in the season, so it shouldn’t be any,” Vokoun said. “We’ll see tonight, I guess.”

Said Coach Dale Hunter: “I thought Neuvy has played well but he was playing a lot of games and Tomas is feeling great so we’ll go with him. We can’t let them sit too long. Tomas is good to go.”

With Mathieu Garon out for three to four weeks with a torn groin muscle, it’s uncertain whether Tampa Bay will opt to start veteran Dwayne Roloson, who has struggled this season, going 8-13-2 with a 3.82 goals-against average and .878 save percentage, or prospect Dustin Tokarski.

The Lightning recalled Tokarski, 22, from the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals after Garon’s injury. He has appeared in two games during the 2009-10 season for Tampa Bay but both were relief outings and he has only 44 minutes of NHL playing time in his career. Tokarski has done well in the AHL this season, though, as he leads that league in victories (27-11-0) and boasts a 2.34 goals against average and .907 save percentage.

A few other notes from the morning skate:

— Several players chose to take their option and not take part in the skate. They were: Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, Troy Brouwer, Mike Green, Jeff Halpern and Dennis Wideman.

Given the number of players who were absent, it’s tough to predict the line combinations. They may be similar to what Hunter used in practice Wednesday and against Carolina on Tuesday.

— It appears as though Mike Knuble, Roman Hamrlik and John Erskine will be healthy scratches once again.

More from Post Sports:
Green still adjusting since return to Caps
Stats: Turnovers still an issue for Capitals
Boswell: Caps shouldn’t close their own window
Leonsis responds to signs incident

By  |  11:32 AM ET, 03/08/2012

 
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