Riding a three-game winning streak, the Washington Capitals host the Arizona Coyotes. But they’ll be without third-line center Marcus Johansson, who is out with an illness.
Johansson missed morning skate, but Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said he was probable earlier. With Johansson out, Mike Richards will center the third line, as he did for the four games that Johansson missed with an upper-body injury after the all-star break. That results in a fourth line of center Michael Latta and wingers Brooks Laich and Stanislav Galiev. Johansson also plays on the first power-play unit, which will likely be filled by Andre Burakovsky, who practiced in his power-play position Monday morning.
When Johansson was out of the lineup earlier this month, the Capitals missed his scoring touch on the third line; with Richards at center, the trio did not score during Johansson’s absence. Since Johansson became the team’s third-line center, he has 12 points in 14 games.
Scoring may not be an issue for the Capitals, as the Coyotes allow the most goals against per game in the league, and Washington is the highest-scoring team in the NHL. The Capitals are starting goaltender Braden Holtby, who is 37-6-3 with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. Arizona will start Louis Domingue, who’s 12-9-4 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage.
Ekman-Larsson is on the ice for #Coyotes pregame skate.
— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) February 22, 2016
The lineup is below, and the discussion thread is now open.
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Justin Williams
Andre Burakovsky-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie
Jason Chimera-Mike Richards-Tom Wilson
Brooks Laich-Michael Latta-Stanislav Galiev
Nate Schmidt-John Carlson
Karl Alzner-Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik-Dmitry Orlov
Braden Holtby (starter)
Marcus Johansson (illness)
Jay Beagle (hand)