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Ducks expected to start goalie Gibson against Capitals

by Curtis Zupke

CAPITALS (29-17-10) at DUCKS (35-14-7)


The Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks were not expected to skate before they played Sunday at Honda Center.

Anaheim is home after it went 2-2-1 on a five-game trip. It will likely turn to goalie John Gibson again after Gibson backstopped the Ducks to a 2-1 win Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes upon his recall from the American Hockey League. Starting goalie Frederik Andersen is not eligible to come off injured reserve until next week; he was injured when the goal apparatus fell on him Feb. 8.

Backup goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has struggled and Anaheim could have to make a tough decision on who will serve as the No. 2 goalie when Andersen is healthy. Bryzgalov was signed to a $1.9 million contract in December but Gibson might be a better option.

The Capitals will likely start goalie Justin Peters after Braden Holtby played Saturday in a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Goaltending wasn't Washington's issue and coach Barry Trotz said after the game that they didn't match L.A.'s urgency.

"We need a lot better effort to win a hockey game," Trotz said. "We need everybody. We're not good enough to just rely on two or three people to get it done. We've got to do it with a group of 20. Everyone's going to get in the lineup, and some guys make the decision a little easier. Some guys have made it a little harder. We'll think about it on the way over there."

Left wing Alex Ovechkin scored his 34th goal and will look to continue his success at Honda Center, where he is 4-0-0 in his career. Ovechkin has six goals and four assists in four career games in Anaheim. He famously recorded a hat trick in his first game there and scored the game-winning goal last season.

Washington defeated Anaheim, 3-2, in a shootout Feb. 6 but the Ducks did not have injured captain Ryan Getzlaf.

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex OvechkinNicklas Backstrom - Marcus Johansson

Brooks LaichEric FehrJoel Ward

Jason ChimeraEvgeny KuznetsovTroy Brouwer

Andre BurakovskyJay BeagleTom Wilson

Brooks OrpikJohn Carlson

Karl AlznerMatt Niskanen

Steve OleksyMike Green

Justin Peters

Braden Holtby

Injured: Dmitry Orlov, John Erskine

Scratched: Aaron Volpatti, Michael Latta, Jack Hillen


Patrick MaroonRyan GetzlafCorey Perry

Matt BeleskeyRyan KeslerKyle Palmieri

Andrew CoglianoRickard RakellJakob Silfverberg

Devante Smith-PellyNate ThompsonTim Jackman

Cam FowlerBen Lovejoy

Hampus LindholmFrancois Beauchemin

Clayton StonerSami Vatanen

John Gibson

Ilya Bryzgalov

Injured: Frederik Andersen (upper body)

Scratched: Rene Bourque, Eric Brewer

Status report: Trotz said he will play everyone on their father's trip and indicated that Burakovsky would go in … The Ducks have been rotating Bourque and Smith-Pelly.

Who's hot: Ovechkin has 20 goals in 25 games. Perry has two goals and two assists in his past five games.

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