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Oshie out, Carlson in for Capitals at Devils

Washington forward has flu; defenseman returning from injury

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

CAPITALS (52-15-5) at DEVILS (36-31-7)

TV: 7 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, MSG, NHL.TV

Season series: The Washington Capitals have won three games against the New Jersey Devils. Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist in a three-goal third period for Washington in a 5-3 win on Oct. 10. Braden Holtby made 24 saves in a 3-2 shootout win on Feb. 6. Defenseman Brooks Orpik scored late in the third period to break a tie in a 4-3 win on Feb. 20. Devils forwards Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac and Reid Boucher each had a goal and two assists.

Capitals team scope: Forward T.J. Oshie (flu) did not practice Thursday and coach Barry Trotz said he doesn't expect him to play. If Oshie can't, Stanislav Galiev, who skated on the fourth line with Daniel Winnik and Mike Richards, would take his place. "We're leaving [for New Jersey] and [Oshie is] not coming with us, so I wouldn't expect him to play, but if he feels better tomorrow, maybe we'll throw him on a plane." Defenseman Jon Carlson will travel and likely will play; he has missed 13 games with a lower-body injury and hasn't played since Feb. 24. Trotz did not say whether Holtby, who has started four straight games, or backup Philipp Grubauer would be in goal. Holtby has 44 wins, four shy of tying the single-season record; Devils goalie Martin Brodeur won 48 in 2006-07.

Devils team scope: New Jersey defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 on Thursday and is six points behind the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. New Jersey has won five of its past seven games (5-2-0). "Obviously, there are a couple games left here, and right now, I think our group is just having a lot of fun trying to string some wins together in a playoff race here," said forward Kyle Palmieri, who had two goals Thursday. "I think some people count us out, but we haven't been eliminated yet, so we just want to keep going." Rookie Scott Wedgewood, who made 39 saves for his first NHL shutout and has won each of his first two starts, could be in net again; Devils coach John Hynes said they would discuss using him or Keith Kinkaid on the flight home.

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