The Capitals will face a more depleted Calgary squad Saturday night at the Saddledome than the one they hosted back at Verizon Center in the second game of the season. The Flames, playing their first game at home after completing a five-game road trip that saw them win only one contest, will be without top defenseman and captain Mark Giordano and top-line winger Lee Stempniak, who are both suffering from undisclosed lower-body injuries.
Still, Coach Adam Oates is expecting another hard-working effort from a Calgary squad that took the Capitals by surprise on Oct. 3 and jumped out to a three-goal lead to start that contest before Washington went on to capture a 5-4 shootout win.
“They played very good, skated great, their defensemen were involved in the game, they played as five man units excellent in the game and caught us a little bit off guard I think,” Oates said. “In their home town, with their home crowd we expect a hard game.”
All Capitals were present and accounted for at the morning skate, including Marcus Johansson who is expected to face Calgary after leaving Friday’s practice early with some soreness. Washington will stick with the same lineup as it looks to extend its current winning streak to four games, which means Calgary native Jay Beagle will sit out for a fourth straight contest.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams.
Curtis Glencross-Matt Stajan-David Jones
Sven Baertschi-Sean Monahan-Jiri Hudler
Michael Cammalleri-Mikael Backlund-TJ Galiardi
Lance Bouma-Joe Colborne-Brian McGrattan
TJ Brodie-Chris Butler
Kris Russell-Dennis Wideman
Derek Smith-Shane O’Brien
Karri Ramo is expected to start.