At the Rink: Flyers at Capitals

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 1:36 PM | Katie Brown  - Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson is expected to return from injury Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

"He'll take the warmup, and we'll see from there," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "I would say he's probable. I anticipate him probably being in. But we'll leave a little leeway in the warmup."

Carlson has missed the past 12 games because of a lower-body injury; he last played Dec. 26. He wouldn't confirm if he was playing but said he's ready.

"There's a lot of other things that go into it. And I've been feeling good for the past week or week and a half or so, and I just keep progressing and getting better, which is a positive," Carlson said. "We'll see where that takes us."

Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth will start against his former team for the first time. Neuvirth was selected by the Capitals (35-8-3) in the second round (No. 34) of the 2006 NHL Draft and was a member of two Calder Cup championship teams with their American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey.

"I just have great memories," Neuvirth said. "Really liked it here. But it's the past, and now I'm playing for the Flyers. I'm going to do my best tonight for the Flyers."

Neuvirth has faced the Capitals once, in relief for the New York Islanders in Game 5 of the 2015 Eastern Conference First Round when starter Jaroslav Halak was pulled after allowing five goals on 32 shots.

"It feels a little different. But a lot of good memories and stuff like that," Neuvirth said. "We've got to make sure we're going to be ready because it's a pretty good team over there."

Neuvirth was traded to the Buffalo Sabres with defenseman Rostislav Klesla for Halak on March 5, 2014, and then traded to the Islanders for goalie Chad Johnson a year later. He signed with the Flyers as a free agent on July 1.

Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner will play his 423rd consecutive game, the longest streak in Washington history.

The Flyers (20-18-8) recalled goaltender Jason LaBarbera from Lehigh Valley of the AHL on an emergency basis. LaBarbera will be Neuvirth's backup.

Goaltender Steve Mason participated in the morning skate even though he was listed as being out because of an upper-body injury. The injury is something he said had been lingering for a while.

"I don't think it's anything too serious," Mason said. "We're in a stretch where we have a little bit of time to take some rest. That's what we're doing. Hopefully come the end of the break here, we'll be ready to go."

"We needed two goalies out there. I didn't overdo anything."

Here are the projected lineups:


Jakub Voracek - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds

Matt Read - Michael Raffl - Brayden Schenn

Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White

R.J. Umberger - Scott Laughton - Sam Gagner

Michael Del Zotto - Shayne Gostisbehere

Nick Schultz - Mark Streit

Brandon Manning - Radko Gudas

Michal Neuvirth

Jason LaBarbera

Injured: Sean Couturier (lower body), Steve Mason (lower body)

Scratched: Evgeny Medvedev, Jordan Weal


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams

Jason Chimera - Marcus Johansson - Tom Wilson

Brooks Laich - Mike Richards - Michael Latta

Matt Niskanen - Karl Alzner

Nate Schmidt - John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov- Taylor Chorney

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Injured: Brooks Orpik (lower body), Jay Beagle (upper body)

Scratched: Stanislav Galiev, Ryan Stanton

Status update: Richards will not be sent to Hershey for conditioning during the All-Star Break. ... Gostisbehere was moved up to the top defense pair with Del Zotto; the two have played together sparingly since Gostisbehere was recalled from Lehigh Valley in November.

Who's hot: Simmonds has four goals and two assists in the past six games. ... Gostisbehere has one goal and three assists during a three-game point streak. … Ovechkin has goals in consecutive games. ... Kuznetsov has seven assists in the past two games. .. Williams has three goals and two assists in the past two games.

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