CAPITALS (29-24-10) at BRUINS (39-17-5)
TV: CSN-DC, NESN, RDS2
Last 10: Washington 5-3-2; Boston 6-2-2
Season series: The Washington Capitals led 3-0 and defeated the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Saturday in the first of three games this season, all to be played this month.
Big story: The Bruins added some experience to their injury-depleted defense by trading for Andrej Meszaros on Wednesday. Meszaros had 17 points in 38 games for the Philadelphia Flyers this season and will help make up for the absence of Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid, though he will not play Thursday.
"He's a big defenseman, a thick defenseman," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said on the team website of Meszaros (6-foot-2, 223 pounds). "I've had a history with him. He's played internationally with Slovakia. He plays both sides, he's heavy on the puck, he's more apt to push the puck than to defend, but he can defend, and he's heavy."
Capitals: Washington lost to the Philadelphia Flyers 6-4 Wednesday after falling behind 4-0. Goalie Braden Holtby was pulled after those first four goals on 18 shots on the day the Capitals traded for goalie Jaroslav Halak.
Backup goalie Michal Neuvirth was sent to the Buffalo Sabres in the deal.
"What we told [Braden] was, [general manager George McPhee] wanted to move a guy that didn't want to be here (Neuvirth)," coach Adam Oates told Monumental Network. "And to not look past that. It's still part of the job. It happens."
Holtby will get another chance Thursday. Halak is with the team and will be the backup.
Tuesday, Washington traded for forward Dustin Penner. He played 16:50 with no points and an even rating Wednesday.
"We'll put this behind us," Penner said. "From being here for 24 hours, and seeing them play before, from other teams that I've been on, I know this team can score goals. A lot of teams can score goals in the East. Especially when you go into opposing teams' rinks, I think it's best to get a good start, first 10 minutes, first shift ..."
Bruins: Meszaros, 28, has played in 571 NHL regular-season games. Boston defensemen Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller have played in 245 combined.
The Bruins also claimed defenseman Corey Potter, 30, off waivers from the Edmonton Oilers.
"We acquired these two players for depth, and when I say for depth, I just want to be clear, it doesn't mean that they're just reserves," Chiarelli said. "It means I look at our defensive corps as a whole, and we're just bolstering that corps, and we've got a lot of games in a short period of time, so that was our intention going into this trade deadline."
Boston, with a 4-1 win against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, has won two in a row after losing its first two after the Olympic break.
Who's hot: Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has seven points, forward Nicklas Backstrom has six, and defenseman John Carlson has four in four games since each played in the Olympics. Defenseman Mike Green has five assists in his past two games. Forward Joel Ward has four points in a three-game streak. … Bruins forward Jarome Iginla has seven multipoint games in his past 12, with 19 points. Forward Milan Lucic has 14 points in those 12 games. Forward David Krejci has five points in his past two games.
Injury report: Capitals forwards John Erskine (upper body), Brooks Laich (groin), Aaron Volpatti (upper body) and Mikhail Grabovski (ankle) are out. … Bruins forward Loui Eriksson (undisclosed) will play Thursday, coach Claude Julien said, after not practicing Wednesday nor playing Tuesday.