The Capitals are on the ice Thursday morning ahead of their home opener against the Calgary Flames at Verizon Center and appear to be sticking with the same lineup they used against the Blackhawks.
If that is indeed the case Connor Carrick will get the opportunity he wanted to improve upon his rough NHL debut and Martin Erat, who isn’t sure what to make of his place on the roster, will spend another contest on the fourth line with rookies Michael Latta and Tom Wilson.
The season opener “was a winnable game,” Coach Adam Oates said. “One game is not a fair valuation, so give the guys another chance.”
Tonight’s game marks the first time that the Capitals have faced Calgary since Jan. 3, 2012, a day that altered the 2011-12 season for Washington. It was in that contest that Rene Bourque elbowed Nicklas Backstrom to the head and caused the center to suffer a concussion. Back then defenseman Dennis Wideman, now one of the Flames, was a member of the Capitals.
Here are the projected lineups for tonight’s game. Changes will be posted after warmups.
Holtby to start.
Curtis Glencross – Matt Stajan – Lee Stempniak
T.J. Galiardi – Mikael Backlund – Jiri Hudler
Sven Baertschi – Sean Monahan – David Jones
Lance Bouma – Ben Street – Brian McGrattan
Mark Giordano-T.J. Brodie
Kris Russell-Dennis Wideman
Chris Butler-Shane O’Brien
Karri Ramo is expected to start.
>>Fans attending tonight’s game should be aware that Verizon Center security staff will be examining all bags carried into the building and wanding all patrons. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get inside the arena and to your seats before puck drop or warmups.
>>The Capitals’ 6-4 loss to Chicago Tuesday was the most watched season opener on record, which dates back to 1993, with an average of 935,000 viewers according to NBC Sports Network. The top five markets for the contest were Chicago (7.3 rating), Washington (2.3), Buffalo (1.4), Baltimore (1.8) and Ft. Myers (1.0).