Projected lineups for Capitals and Blue Jackets

October 19, 2013

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The Capitals will get their first in-game look at their reconfigured lineup Saturday night as they wrap up a homestand with a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Jay Beagle will be the healthy scratch among the forwards while Eric Fehr shifts down to center the fourth line between Aaron Volpatti, who will be making his season debut, and Tom Wilson. The top three lines are the same as they were in Friday’s practice.

Given the abundance of right wingers in Washington’s lineup, expect to continue seeing Fehr at center. He’s been able to adjust to the new position rather well and Coach Adam Oates says he sees Fehr’s reads and involvement in the plays as a center steadily improving. Fehr has a 52 percent (38 of 73) success rate on faceoffs, second best among the three Capitals who have taken at least 70 draws so far this season.

“I like having him because if something happens in the game he’s a versatile guy but in saying that it’s hard to find minutes for everybody,” Oates said. “He’s a valuable asset if he can play two positions, otherwise I’ve got no minutes.”

On defense, John Erskine will miss a fourth consecutive game with an upper-body injury but Oates said hopefully the veteran defenseman will be able to return to the lineup on the four-game road trip.

Here are the projected lineups for both teams

Capitals
Johansson-Backstrom-Ovechkin
Erat-Laich-Brouwer
Chimera-Grabovski-Ward
Volpatti-Fehr-Wilson

Alzner-Carlson
Schmidt-Green
Urbom-Oleksy

Holtby to start.

Blue Jackets
Cam Atkinson-Artem Anisimov-Marian Gaborik
Boone Jenner-Brandon Dubinsky-Mark Letestu
Blake Comeau-Ryan Johansen-R.J. Umberger
Ryan Craig-Derek MacKenzie-Jared Boll

Fedor Tyutin-Jack Johnson
Nikita Nikitin-David Savard
James Wisniewski-Ryan Murray/Dalton Prout

Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start.

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