Winnipeg Coach Claude Noel wasn’t pleased following his team’s 4-0 loss to the Capitals Thursday night. “They’re playing chess,” he said. “We’re playing checkers.”
Friday morning Noel said simply that the Jets must play “harder and better” and Washington is bracing for their foes to do just that. The Capitals have played two of their best all-around games this season at MTS Centre, but to defeat Winnipeg for a third time in this raucous environment will likely be a challenge and Coach Adam Oates knows they must be prepared.
“It’s a tough environment here. The place is rocking at the beginning and we’ve handled it well,” Oates said. “We talked about that this morning. We expect them to be better and what we think that is for them and we’re going to be able to neutralize it. We’ve got to be ready to go from the start.”
Thanks to establishing an early lead in Thursday night’s game and a lack of special teams play until the third period, Oates was able to roll all four lines and manage the minutes of the entire roster. No forward played more than Alex Ovechkin’s 18 minutes 23 seconds and top defensemen John Carlson, Mike Green and Karl Alzner all saw less than 24 minutes of ice time.
Those relatively limited workloads could pay off tonight in the second of back-to-back games and the Capitals’ third contest in four nights.
Faceoff: 7 p.m. (EDT) MTS Centre | TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7
Discuss the game in the comment section below and based on warmups here’s what the lineup should look like:
Goal: Holtby, Neuvirth.
Scratches: Jeff Schultz, Aaron Volpatti and Wojtek Wolski.
IR: John Erskine (left hand/wrist),Tomas Kundratek (right leg/knee), and Tom Poti (back).