WASHINGTON - Mike Smith will get the nod in net this evening when the Flames take on the Washington Capitals at 5:00 p.m. MT (TV: Sprotsnet West; RADIO: Sportsnet 960 The FAN).
The veteran netminder has 3-2-0 record in his last five starts and has won his last two games, stopping a combined 53 shots in those contests. Overall, he has a 14-9-1 record this year.
"We love Smitty's puckhandling ability," Bill Peters said following the morning skate at Capital One Arena. "A team that forechecks and does a good job putting the puck in behind you, which is Washington and Carolina, his ability to handle the puck makes a big difference. It allows us to break out clean and spend less time in the d-zone."
With Smith getting his 25th start of the year tonight, David Rittch could get the nod on Sunday when the team takes on the Hurricanes in Raleigh.
"We'll probably use them both on this trip so Smitty will go tonight and we'll re-evaluate tomorrow."
Here is the full projected lineup vs. the Capitals:
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Elias Lindholm
Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik
Sam Bennett - Mark Jankowski - James Neal
Andrew Mangiapane - Derek Ryan - Garnet Hathaway
Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie
Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic
Oliver Kylington - Rasmus Andersson