As they get set to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second time in as many nights, the Capitals are 1-3-1 in their last five games. With only 16 games remaining in the season and Washington still a point shy of the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, there is much work to be done if the Caps hope to claim a seventh straight Stanley Cup playoff berth this spring.
Forward Brooks Laich did not make the trip with the team to the Steel City for Tuesday’s game; he is in St. Louis seeing a specialist for the groin injury that has plagued him for more than a year now. Washington recalled center Casey Wellman and defenseman Patrick Wey (a Pittsburgh native) from AHL Hershey this morning, and both arrived in time to join the team for an optional morning skate here at Consol Energy Center.
Wellman will be in the lineup tonight; Wey will not. Here’s how the Caps will lineup for the second half of the home-and-home set with the Penguins, Washington’s 14th set of games on back-to-back nights this season.
Johansson – Backstrom – Ovechkin
Penner – Beagle – Brouwer
Chimera – Fehr – Ward
Kuznetsov – Wellman – Wilson
Alzner – Carlson
Orlov – Green
Hillen – Carrick
Jaroslav Halak made 17 saves in a 3-2 home ice loss to the Penguins last night. An eight-year NHL veteran, Halak has played both ends of a set of back-to-back games 20 times previously in his NHL career, with some seriously strong results in the second half of those sets. In the back end of back-to-backs, Halak is 13-7 with four shutouts, a 1.95 GAA and a .929 save pct.