WINNIPEG – The Washington Capitals’ season is still on the line Friday evening when they face the Winnipeg Jets for the second consecutive night at MTS Centre.
But the Capitals (13-16-1) bought themselves some breathing room after shutting out the Jets 4-0 Thursday night to move themselves five points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Winnipeg (16-13-2) did not hold a morning skate at MTS Centre, and the Capitals’ optional skate had five players.
Capitals coach Adam Oates will return to Braden Holtby in net one night after he shut out the Jets for the second time this month in Winnipeg. Oates said he will dress the same lineup that featured the return of defenseman Mike Green from a 10-game injury absence. The Capitals also reportedly placed right wing Joey Crabb on waivers to alleviate a roster glut.
The Jets will again turn to goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who will start his 10th consecutive game. Winnipeg’s blue line was dealt another injury blow Thursday when a heavy third-period hit from Alex Ovechkin ended Mark Stuart’s evening. Jets coach Claude Noel described Stuart as “banged up” and termed him a game-time decision. Noel also said he may tinker with his lineup.
Here are the projected lineups for the Capitals and Jets for the game Friday:
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Alex Ovechkin
Brooks Laich – Mike Ribeiro – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Mathieu Perreault – Eric Fehr
Matt Hendricks – Jay Beagle – Joel Ward
Jack Hillen – John Carlson
Karl Alzner – Steve Oleksy
Dmitry Orlov – Mike Green
Injured: John Erskine (arm), Tomas Kundratek (knee).
Scratched: Joey Crabb, Jeff Schultz, Aaron Volpatti, Wojtek Wolski
Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane – Olli Jokinen – Antti Miettinen
James Wright – Nik Antropov – Kyle Wellwood
Eric Tangradi – Alexander Burmistrov – Chris Thorburn
Grant Clitsome – Dustin Byfuglien
Ron Hainsey – Zach Bogosian
Mark Stuart – Derek Meech
Injured: Tobias Enstrom (shoulder), Anthony Peluso (hand), Zach Redmond (thigh), Jim Slater (hand)
Scratched: Patrice Cormier, Arturs Kulda, Paul Postma