Capitals stick with same lines in morning skate; Spezza out for Senators (updated)

January 29, 2013
(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Greetings from Scotiabank Place in snowy Kanata, Ontario, where the Capitals are on the ice for the morning skate ahead of tonight’s tilt against the Senators.

Ottawa will be without center Jason Spezza (upper-body injury), who has 29 points in 30 career games against Washington, but will have its captain Daniel Alfredsson back in the lineup after he missed the previous game with the flu.

Coach Adam Oates will stick with the same line combinations that he started the past two games with, including Alex Ovechkin on a line with Jay Beagle and Joey Crabb.

“We played pretty good and we won,” Oates said. “The guys got a good feel with it, so we’ll go with the same group.”

Michal Neuvirth, who boasts a 4-0-0 career record against Ottawa with a 1.55 goals-against average and .945 save percentage, is expected to make a fourth consecutive start in goal tonight. He’ll be opposed by Craig Anderson for the Senators.

Brooks Laich, who has not played a game or practiced with the team yet this season because of a groin injury,  is scheduled to join the team in Ottawa later Tuesday evening after visiting a specialist.  The plan is for Laich to skate with the scratches on Thursday morning in Toronto.

“He’ll skate with us in Toronto and we’ll get a good measure after that,” said Oates, who couldn’t offer a specific timeline on Laich’s recovery. Oates did say he expects the utility forward to return to Washington and continue working out there following this two-game road trip.

Here’s what the lineup should look like tonight based on the morning skate.

Forwards

Ovechkin-Beagle-Crabb

Wolski-Backstrom-Brouwer

Chimera-Ribeiro-Ward

Hendricks-Perreault-Fehr

Defense

Alzner-Green

Erskine-Carlson

Schultz-Kundratek

Goal: Neuvirth, Holtby

Scratches: Marcus Johansson, Tom Poti and Roman Hamrlik.

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Katie Carrera | January 29, 2013