While the biggest news of the day is that the Capitals will be without Nicklas Backstrom (head) and Mike Green (groin), who were both sent home to Washington ahead of tonight’s game, here are a few other lineup notes from the morning skate.
Tomas Vokoun will make his sixth straight start tonight and face the Kings. The 35-year-old Czech has been quite steady for Washington since being given this string of consecutive games, and although he allowed four goals against San Jose he was not significantly responsible for the loss.
“He played solid for us [against the Sharks],” Coach Dale Hunter said. “He gets the start tonight because he’s been solid.”
Vokoun has stopped 159 of the 169 shots he’s faced for a .940 save percentage in his last six appearances heading into tonight’s game at Staples Center.
In somewhat of a surprise decision, Los Angeles will go with back up Jonathan Bernier. Starter Jonathan Quick has been on a roll recently, boasting a 1.93 goals-against average, .934 save percentage. He has given up just three goals on 89 shots in the last four games.
Bernier was in net the last time these two teams met, back on Feb. 12, 2011, and made 22 saves in the Kings’ 4-1 win at Verizon Center. This season, Bernier is 2-4-1 with a 2.82 goals-against average and .893 save percentage.
— With Green out of the lineup, John Erskine will be back in after serving as a healthy scratch in San Jose. Erskine will likely be paired with rookie Dmitry Orlov. Jeff Schultz will be a healthy scratch.