BOSTON – The Washington Capitals should be adding one of their best defensemen to the lineup Saturday against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden, while the Bruins avoided a minor scare with their best defenseman during the morning skate.
Coach Barry Trotz said Mike Green should play against the Bruins after he missed the season opener Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens with an upper-body injury. The Capitals were 0-for-5 on the power play in their 2-1 loss, so Trotz is looking forward to Green’s debut.
“He’s a puck mover. He’s a real key on the power play,” Trotz said. “So that’s where he can have his impact most. I think breaking out of our end he’s such a good skater and a passer. If he’ll be really efficient on that then we’ll be in really good shape.”
For the Bruins, Zdeno Chara ran into teammate forward Milan Lucic during a power-play drill and Lucic’s stick clocked Chara near his right eye. Chara hit the deck, but got back up and continued in the drills. He iced his eye and finished the morning skate.
Injuring Chara would’ve been the latest on a list of problems this season for Lucic, who had no points and no shots on goal in the Bruins’ first two games. Lucic has not only had to get used to playing with a heavily-taped right wrist after offseason surgery, but also hasn’t had the chance to play with usual center David Krejci, who is on injured reserve.
“It is tough a little bit because you’re used to playing with a certain guy and a certain style. But that’s also not an excuse,” Lucic said. “You know when you’re in the NHL you’re with great players no matter who you play with. So you’ve got to find a way to find your game and adapt to whoever it is that you’re playing with. So I think as an individual, I mean, critiquing myself, I don’t think it’s acceptable the way that I’ve played the first two games. So you know, I’m aware of that so I know what I need to do to get myself back into what I do best. And you need to start that here tonight.”
Here are the projected lineups:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly – Carl Soderberg – Loui Eriksson
Milan Lucic – Ryan Spooner – Matt Fraser
Daniel Paille – Craig Cunningham – Bobby Robins
Zdeno Chara – Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg – Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug – Kevan Miller
Injured: David Krejci (undisclosed), Gregory Campbell (core)
Scratched: Matt Bartkowski, Jordan Caron
Alexander Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – Eric Fehr
Marcus Johansson – Andre Burakovsky – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Brooks Laich – Joel Ward
Liam O’Brien – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Chris Brown
Brooks Orpik – John Carlson
Karl Alzner – Matt Niskanen
Mike Green – Nate Schmidt
Scratched: Michael Latta, John Erskine, Jack Hillen
Injured: Tom Wilson (fractured left fibula), Jay Beagle (upper body), Aaron Volpatti (upper body), Dmitry Orlov (wrist)
Status report: Latta rotated with Brown on the Capitals’ fourth line, but Trotz would not confirm a switch in the lineup from Thursday. ... Krejci and Campbell both skated with the Bruins. It was first time back on the ice for Krejci since he was injured Oct. 4 in a preseason game. Coach Claude Julien said there was no update on a timetable for either player.
Who’s hot: Burakovsky scored the Capitals’ only goal in his NHL debut against the Canadiens. ... Holtby has a 4-2-0 record, 2.49 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in his career against the Bruins. ... Rask has a .932 save percentage through two games.