Washington Capitals (14-4-1) v. Atlanta Thrashers (7-9-3)
7:30 PM EST – Philips Arena – Atlanta, Georgia
TV/Radio: CSN-DC; Caps Radio 1500
October 8 – Atlanta (4) – Washington (2)
October 23 – Washington (4) – Atlanta (3) OT
November 14 – Washington (6) – Atlanta (4)
Last game: The Capitals exacted revenge on the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday in a 4-2 victory at Verizon Center. An overtime loss to the Sabres last Saturday was the only blemish on the Caps’ current 8-0-1 streak. Nicklas Backstrom, Matt Bradley, David Steckel and Alex Semin scored for Washington.
Possible lineup for Washington:
Possible lineup for Atlanta:
Bogosian, Enstrom, Hainsey, Meyer, Oduya, Sopel
Outlook: A fifth of the Capitals’ games this season have come against the Thrashers, so it would be an understatement to say that these teams know each other well. Just as the Caps got revenge against the Sabres Wednesday, the Thrashers will be looking to do the same after Sunday’s 6-4 loss at Verizon Center.
The biggest news coming out of Atlanta involved an injury to Dustin Byfuglien and the appointment of a new captain. Byfuglien suffered a bruise on his leg Wednesday against Florida and did not practice Thursday. His status is unknown for Friday. Meanwhile, Atlanta coach Craig Ramsey named Andrew Ladd captain Wednesday. Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom were named alternates.
Whether or not the shuffling of lines will continue for the Capitals is unclear. The starting goaltender is also unclear. Head coach Bruce Boudreau plans to play both Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby in the back-to-back games Friday and Saturday against the Flyers. Neuvirth started Sunday against Atlanta, while Holtby made his first official NHL start in a 3-2 overtime win over Philadelphia November 7.