Skip to Main Content
game preview

Capitals' Alzner likely to play Game 2 vs. Penguins

Washington defenseman sat out morning skate; Pittsburgh's Kunitz game-time decision

by Katie Brown / Correspondent


Eastern Conference Second Round

Washington leads best-of-7 series 1-0

TV: 8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner took a maintenance day Saturday morning but is expected to play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Verizon Center on Saturday night.

"Everybody's available for tonight," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.

Defenseman Mike Weber skated in Alzner's spot with Matt Niskanen at the morning skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Defenseman Dmitry Orlov could be a healthy scratch after being benched for most of Game 1 following his misplay on a first-period goal by Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy. Trotz declined to discuss any lineup changes for Game 2 but said his message to Orlov was simple.

"You're a good player, you've played lots of games," Trotz said. "Playoffs, everything's about short-term memory and just move forward. You're doing a lot of good things. Just go from there."

Taylor Chorney took part in drills during the Capitals morning skate with Nate Schmidt, Orlov's usual defense partner. Chorney said he hadn't been told yet if he was playing in Game 2.

"I think that's maybe the plan, but you never really know until we get out there," Chorney said. "But I've been kind of preparing like I'm going to be playing, so we'll see."

Penguins forward Chris Kunitz is a game-time decision for Game 2, coach Mike Sullivan said Saturday. Kunitz left Game 1 during overtime when he was hit by a puck while on the Penguins bench.

"He's a tough kid," Sullivan said after the Penguins' morning skate at Verizon Center. "He wants to play. He'll be a game-time decision but I think he was fortunate with the way that happened. It was kind of a fluke incident."

Penguins forward Conor Sheary will play in Game 2 after he sustained a knee-on-knee hit from Capitals forward Tom Wilson during Game 1. On Friday the NHL Department of Player Safety fined Wilson $2,403.67, the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement, for kneeing.

Here are the projected lineups:


Conor Sheary - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist

Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Eric Fehr

Carl Hagelin - Nick Bonino - Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl - Matt Cullen - Bryan Rust

Olli Maatta - Kris Letang

Trevor Daley - Ian Cole

Brian Dumoulin - Ben Lovejoy

Matt Murray

Jeff Zatkoff

Injured: Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion), Kevin Porter (ankle), Scott Wilson (lower body)

Scratched: Justin Schultz, Oskar Sundqvist, Beau Bennett, Derrick Pouliot


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams

Jason Chimera - Mike Richards - Marcus Johansson

Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik - John Carlson

Nate Schmidt - Taylor Chorney

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Injured: None

Scratched: Mike Weber, Stanislav Galiev, Michael Latta, Dmitry Orlov

Status update: Fleury skated Saturday. Sullivan said he is making progress but there is no timetable for his return.

Who's hot: Malkin had a goal in Game 1 and has eight points in his past five games. … Oshie had a hat trick in Game 1. It was the third of his NHL career, and first in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

View More