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Stanley Cup Final
At the Rink blog

Caps seek road win, more production from top line

Thursday, 12.15.2011 / 3:04 PM

By Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

WINNIPEG -- A 5-1 home loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night has the Washington Capitals in need of a win tonight against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Capitals continue their transition under new coach Dale Hunter, but have picked up three wins over their past five games. The road has not treated the Capitals well this season, and the team is 1-7 in its past eight games away from Washington. The Capitals wrap up their two-game road swing on Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Capitals' top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin have managed only four combined goals since Hunter took over behind the bench, but Hunter is still encouraged by their play and expects that production will follow.

"They've been getting opportunities," Hunter said. "As long as they keep getting opportunities, good things happen."

The Capitals will do without defenseman Mike Green and forwards Jay Beagle and Matt Hendricks against the Jets.

Here are tonight's projected lines and pairings for Washington:

CAPITALS

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Alexander Semin
Troy Brouwer - Marcus Johansson - Jeff Halpern
Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Joel Ward
Cody Eakin - Mathieu Perreault - Mike Knuble

Karl Alzner - John Carlson
John Erskine - Dennis Wideman
Dmitry Orlov - Roman Hamrlik

Michal Neuvirth
Tomas Vokoun

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery