The Washington Capitals hit the road for their NHL season opener, taking on their divisional rival Tampa Bay Lightning. There will be numerous things to watch for tonight including Braden Holtby in net, Adam Oates as the new head coach and offseason additions such as forwards Mike Ribeiro and Wojtek Wolski. The game will be televised on Comcast Sportsnet Washington along with being aired on the radio on 106.7 The Fan and the Capitals Radio Network.
Tonight marks the first of four meetings between the two Southeast Division clubs, who played six times in a full regular season last year. Washington bettered Tampa Bay last season, earning a 3-2-1 advantage over the Lightning.
The Capitals will dress seven defenseman tonight, as they look to avoid fatigue on their blue line in this shortened season. Tom Poti will rotate in with the other six Capitals defensemen. Former Hershey Bear Braden Holtby gets the start in net for Washington, looking to continue the success he had last postseason in Washington.
Tampa Bay is led by their forward superstar Steven Stamkos, who is one of the best young forwards in the entire league. The Lightning hope to help out the forward units, with the addition of former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Carle to help out young Victor Hedman on the Tampa Bay blue line. Anders Linback will start in goal for the Lightning.
Projected Capitals Lines
Marcus Johansson–Nicklas Backstrom–Alex Ovechkin
Wojtek Wolski-Mike Ribeiro-Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera–Jay Beagle–Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks–Mathieu Perreault-rotating winger
Roman Hamrlik–Mike Green
Karl Alzner–John Carlson
Jeff Schultz–John Erskine
Tom Poti (seventh defenseman)