The Washington Post

Tomas Kundratek tests right leg, Braden Holtby to start against Sabres

(Alex Brandon/Associated Press) Braden Holtby will start against the Sabres.


The Capitals held an optional morning skate Sunday in Arlington ahead of their game in the evening against the Buffalo Sabres. On to the news and notes:

>> Defenseman Tomas Kundratek skated for less than 10 minutes Sunday morning, testing out his injured right leg. Hope to get an update on his status this afternoon when Coach Adam Oates meets with reporters at Verizon Center.

Kundratek, 23, had an MRI exam Friday to determine the damage of the injury he suffered when Carolina forward Jeff Skinner fell on his leg in the first period of Washington’s 3-2 victory Thursday.

>> John Erskine, who is out with what is believed to be an injured left hand/wrist, did not not skate with the team yet again and it’s highly unlikely he plays against the Sabres. He skated in warmups on Feb. 10 but hasn’t taken part in a team workout once in the past week so it’s tough to gauge when he might be able to return.

>> Matt Hendricks cut his right hand during his fight with Bruins enforcer Adam McQuaid in the third period yesterday but the gritty Capitals forward isn’t about to be sidelined by a little flesh wound. “The hand’s good,” he said adding that he’s ready to go against the Sabres.

Since Hendricks didn’t speak to reporters after the Capitals’ 4-1 loss to Boston, check back later for his perspective on the fights and how he was cornered by McQuaid and Shawn Thornton.

>> Braden Holtby will get the start tonight against Buffalo after backing up Michal Neuvirth in each of the past two games. In two career appearances against the Sabres, Holtby is 0-1-1 with a .867 save percentage and 4.16 GAA.

>> Because it was an optional skate the Capitals didn’t do line rushes, but Aaron Volpatti and Wojtek Wolski look to be the healthy scratches. They both took part in an extended extra workout with assistant coach Tim Hunter.

Those who didn’t take part in the skate this morning but are expected to play against the Sabres were Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Ribeiro, Marcus Johansson, Jason Chimera and Joel Ward.



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