Capitals look to keep Jets’ frustration level high

October 22, 2013

Braden Holtby was 3-0 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg last season. (AP/Nick Wass)

The Capitals wrapped up their morning skate in Winnipeg ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the Jets, who are in a spot that is quite familiar to the visitors.

The Jets close out a six-game homestand with this tilt against the Capitals and are looking to establish some momentum before heading out on a four-game road trip. Winnipeg (4-5-0) also wants to reassert itself on home ice, where it is an uncharacteristic 3-4-0 at MTS Centre.

“Based on the interviews, I see a frustrated team,” Coach Adam Oates said. “We just went through it and we talked about it this morning. At the end of the day, based on their comments you expect a hungry, hard-fought game tonight, because they’re not happy about it. We have to do our job and be prepared for them early.”

Last season, Washington was quite successful in this building. The Capitals won all three games at MTS Centre last year by a combined score of 13-1 and goaltender Braden Holtby, who will get the call once again Tuesday night, allowed one goal on a combined 85 shots in those contests.

>> John Erskine is expected to return to the lineup after missing the past four games with an upper-body injury he suffered on Oct. 10 against Carolina. Oates is glad to have the rugged defensemen back in the mix but plans on easing him back into game action on the third pairing with Steve Oleksy in Winnipeg.

“We need him, we need him healthy, we need him contributing and being that physical presence out there,” Oates said.

>> With Erskine back in, Alex Urbom will sit as the healthy scratch among the defensemen. Among the forwards, Jay Beagle will be scratched for a second consecutive game and the fourth time overall this season.

>> The Jets are expected to be without defenseman Mark Stuart, who is out with a hip injury. Jacob Trouba (neck), Jim Slater (undisclosed) and Chris Thorburn (lower-body) are also out for Winnipeg.

Based on the morning skates, 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
Erskine-Oleksy

Holtby, Neuvirth.

Jets
Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Devin Setoguchi
Evander Kane-Mark Scheifele-Blake Wheeler
Matt Halischuk -Olli Jokinen-Michael Frolik
James Wright-Patrice Cormier-Anthony Peluso

Grant Clitsome-Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom-Zach Bogosian
Adam Pardy-Paul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start. Al Montoya will back up.

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