Caps Welcome Wild in the Snow. Ovi Out?

Posted March 5, 2015

Please play, Ovi! (Caps Outsider)

The Washington Capitals begin their five game homestead with a match up against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. This will be the first meeting of the season between the Caps and the Wild. The Wild comes into this game having won 12 of their last 15 games and riding a three-game winning streak. The addition of Devan Dubnyk has given the Wild the stability in net that they have needed all season. Consequently, the Wild has been playing more consistently than they have all season. The Caps enter this contest with a two-game win streak and are looking to gain better seeding in the Metropolitan division with a win tonight.

The Caps might be missing the services of their captain tonight. Alexander Ovechkin apparently suffered a lower-body injury in the game on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Great 8 chose not to participate in a team skate today. Coach Barry Trotz stated that Ovechkin’s status for the game tonight will be decided after pregame warm ups. The 29 year old Russian phenom missed 3 games last season and the team went 1-2-0 without him in the lineup. Michael Latta is also not in the lineup tonight after he suffered a upper-body injury with a high hit from Jared Boll on Tuesday against the Blue Jackets. As a precaution, Andre Burakovsky was called up from the Hershey Bears and will only play if Ovechkin is not cleared to play.

Here are the projected lineups if Ovechkin does not play:

Burakovsky – Backstrom – Johansson

Glencross – Beagle – Brouwer

Chimera – Fehr – Ward

Laich – Kuznetsov – Wilson

Orpik – Carlson

Alzner – Niskanen

Gleason – Green

Braden Holtby in net

If Ovechkin is out of the lineup, this will be a great test for the Capitals and a defining moment as a team. The Caps will be forced to get scoring from other lines and not depend on Ovechkin’s scoring ability. If Ovechkin plays tonight, the Caps may have dodged a potential bullet. Nonetheless, this game will still hold importance because the Caps need to try and win every game left in the season to get better positioning in the standings. The Caps are 2 points out of the final spot in the Metropolitan Division and a win tonight would leap frog them over the Penguins for 3rd place. Hopefully the Caps can stay consistent and win this game, with or without Ovechkin.