Washington Capitals (0-0-0) v. Atlanta Thrashers (0-0-0)
7:30 EST – Philips Arena – Atlanta, Georgia
TV/Radio: CSN-DC; Caps Radio 1500
Possible lineup for Washington:
Ovechkin – Backstrom – Knuble
Laich – Fleischmann – Semin
Chimera – Johansson – Fehr
Hendricks – Steckel – Bradley
Schultz – Green
Poti – Carlson
Erskine – Alzner
Possible lineup for Atlanta:
Outlook: The regular season is upon us and the Capitals once again open in Atlanta against the rejuvenated Thrashers. The Caps are ready to start fresh after last season’s failings and will bring a formidable lineup to the ice every night. Eyes will be on the newest members of the Caps’ young nucleus, especially C Marcus Johansson and G Michal Neuvirth. Neuvirth will get the start Friday, while head coach Bruce Boudreau placed Semyon Varlamov on the injured reserve list earlier this week. Boudreau said today that Neuvirth could start three of the first four games, including Saturday’s home opener against New Jersey.
Atlanta benefitted most from the Chicago Blackhawks’ offseason fire sale, picking up Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager and Brent Sopel. Despite a winless 0-5-1 preseason, the Thrashers have its most experienced roster to date. Young players like Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian look to break out, while the former Blackhawks, Nik Antropov and Johnny Oduya will provide leadership. The Thrashers should challenge for a playoff spot and will look to start off fresh against a team it finished 0-6-0 last season.