RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes each had to make a tough goaltending decision ahead of their game Friday night.
The Capitals have three healthy goaltenders, Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth and Philipp Grubauer, leaving coach Adam Oates to make a judgment call. Grubauer, who played in four straight prior to Washington's loss Tuesday night to the Philadelphia Flyers, will get the start in net against Carolina.
"Grubauer has been good," Oates said. "We've got three goalies, so we have to make some decisions. We've played Carolina twice and didn't have the best results, so we will change it up a little bit and put a fresh guy in there."
Carolina coach Kirk Muller also had to sort out his goaltending picture. Justin Peters earned a 4-1 win when the teams met Dec. 3 in Washington, and he has two shutouts and a 1.67 goals-against average in seven games against the Capitals. But after consecutive starts by Peters, Muller will go back to Cam Ward against Washington.
"Just going on a gut feeling," Muller said. "Cam had a good five days to really focus on his game, and he's a leader of this group. Tonight's a big game where you look to your veteran guys to have big games. We want to show we have confidence in him and give him the opportunity to start."
The Hurricanes lost to Edmonton 5-4 in overtime in Ward's last start. Since his November return from a knee injury, he has allowed at least three goals in seven of his eight starts.
Here are the projected lineups:
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Alex Ovechkin
Eric Fehr - Mikhail Grabovski - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Martin Erat - Joel Ward
Aaron Volpatti - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson
Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Mike Green
John Erskine - Steve Oleksy
Injured: Jack Hillen (tibia), Brooks Laich (groin), Michael Latta (lower body).
Scratched: Alexander Urbom, Casey Wellman, Michal Neuvirth
Jeff Skinner - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu
Nathan Gerbe - Jordan Staal - Alexander Semin
Jiri Tlusty - Riley Nash - Patrick Dwyer
Drayson Bowman - Manny Malhotra - Radek Dvorak
Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore
Jay Harrison - Tim Gleason
Injured: Anton Khudobin (lower body), Elias Lindholm (upper body)
Scratched: Mike Komisarek, Ryan Murphy, Kevin Westgarth