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Capitals at Predators preview

Bonino returns to bolster Nashville's bid for fifth straight win; Niskanen back in Washington lineup

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

CAPITALS (10-7-1) at PREDATORS (9-5-2)



The Game

Forward Nick Bonino, who missed 11 games with a lower-body injury, will return to the lineup for the Nashville Predators against the Washington Capitals at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday. Bonino was on the fourth line at practice Monday for the Predators, who seek to extend their winning streak to a season-long five games.

Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen will be back in the lineup after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury. He is expected to replace Taylor Chorney. Niskanen skated with Dmitry Orlov during the morning skate.

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby will attempt to win his seventh straight start; he has allowed 11 goals in his past six starts for Washington, 5-1-0 in its past six games.

Predators forward Scott Hartnell will be out 3-5 weeks with a lower-body injury and Nashville defenseman Yannick Weber will be out 2-4 weeks with a lower-body injury. Each was placed on injured reserve.

Players to watch

Capitals forward Lars Eller and defenseman John Carlson each has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past six games.

Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok has four points (two goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak.


They said it

"It sounds like I've got the green light to go ahead and play tonight, so excited to be back. It's not the best situation to be away from the team. I'm excited to be back in there tonight and see what I can do." -- Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen

"I think we're playing fast right now. I think Saturday there were some things we could have done better defensively, but I thought it was a pretty fast game and we played pretty fast and played with a lot of energy. I think that's the staple of our game, and that's what we need to do to be successful." -- Predators defenseman Roman Josi


Capitals projected lineup

Chandler Stephenson -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Jakub Vrana -- Lars Eller -- Tom Wilson

Brett Connolly -- Jay Beagle -- Alex Chiasson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Christian Djoos -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Nathan Walker, Aaron Ness, Taylor Chorney

Injured: Andre Burakovsky (fractured left thumb)


Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala -- Kyle Turris -- Craig Smith

Miikka Salomaki -- Calle Jarnkrok -- Colton Sissons

Cody McLeod -- Nick Bonino -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Mattias Ekholm

Alexei Emelin -- P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin -- Anthony Bitetto

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: None

Injured: Ryan Ellis (knee), Scott Hartnell (lower body), Yannick Weber (lower body)


Status report

The Capitals assigned forward Tyler Graovac to Hershey of the American Hockey League on a long-term conditioning loan. … The Predators did not go through line rushes at the morning skate. 


Stat pack

Rinne is 6-1-1 with 16 goals allowed in his past eight starts. … Josi has three points (two goals, one assist) in his past two games. … Johansen has 21 shots on goal but has not yet scored this season. 

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