Both the Washington Capitals
and Tampa Bay Lightning
will have a different look in goal Thursday when the Southeast Division rivals meet at Verizon Center.
will start for the Capitals for the first time in more than two weeks, while the Lightning will look to continue their late-season surge without recent No. 1 Mathieu Garon
, who left a game Tuesday against Ottawa and is out indefinitely.
Garon had started 19 of Tampa Bay's last 23 games (going 12-4-2 in 18 decisions), but Lightning coach Guy Boucher
would not say this morning who will start against the Capitals.
Boucher's options are 42-year-old Dwayne Roloson
(8-13-2, 3.82 goals-against average, .878 save percentage), or 22-year-old Dustin Tokarski
, who has two career NHL relief appearances and was recalled from AHL Norfolk on Wednesday.
"I haven't talked to the goalies yet," Boucher said this morning. "I talked to [Roloson] yesterday and we talked about our plan for the next days. I haven't talked to Tokarski; he just got in. I'll talk to him around lunchtime and I'll talk to Roli and I'll explain the plan for them."
Tokarski has won a team-record eight straight games with Norfolk, with a 1.75 GAA and .927 save percentage during that stretch. His two NHL appearances came in Jan. 2010 when he allowed three goals on 16 shots spread across 44 minutes.
Boucher acknowledged there is much to consider when planning the goaltending rotation.
"Who we're playing, circumstances, experiences and just having some time to get accustomed to things for the young guy and for the older guy to make sure he understands the situation and what's going on," Boucher said. "There are quite a few things that I need to discuss with them."
For the Capitals, Vokoun returns after he was pulled in each of his last two starts, Feb.20 in Carolina and Feb.22 in Ottawa, when he allowed a combined six goals on 18 shots. Michal Neuvirth
had started the six games since (3-2-1).
"I thought Neuvy played well, but he's played a lot of games and Tomas is feeling great so we'll go with him," Capitals coach Dale Hunter
explained. "You can't let them sit too long so Tomas is good to go."
Vokoun is 23-16-2 with a 2.52 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage, and has not started at home in nearly a month -- a Feb. 9 shootout loss to Winnipeg.
The first draft pick in Tampa Bay Lightning
history, Roman Hamrlik
, will be a healthy scratch for the Capitals tonight for the eighth straight game. He'll be joined in the press box by Mike Knuble
and John Erskine
remains on injured-reserve for the Lightning and will miss his ninth straight game with an upper-body injury.
Below are the projected lineups for the Capitals and Lightning:
- Brooks Laich
- Marcus Johansson
- Mathieu Perreault
- Alexander Semin
- Jay Beagle
- Troy Brouwer
- Jeff Halpern
- Joel Ward
- John Carlson
- Mike Green
- Dennis Wideman
Martin St. Louis
- Steven Stamkos
- Teddy Purcell
- Nate Thompson
- Adam Hall
- Tom Pyatt
- Brett Connolly
- Tim Wallace
- Brandon Segal
- Eric Brewer
- Brian Lee
- Brendan Mikkelson