Here’s the scenario... IF The Hurricanes win all of their remaining games in regulation or overtime, AND the Devils lose all of their remaining games in regulation, AND the Panthers fail to gain three points over their remaining six games... ah, well, nevertheless.
The Canes didn’t skate this morning, and after Warren Foegele and Roland McKeown were reassigned to Charlotte on Wednesday, exactly 18 skaters are available for tonight’s game. After missing the last three games with an upper body injury, Justin Faulk is expected to be back in the lineup tonight. A starting goaltender hasn’t been announced (stay tuned for that information when teams report their lineups at 5:00 pm). Scott Darling made 41 saves on 45 shots in Tuesday night’s loss to the Devils. He was also in net for the Canes’ last appearance in Washington on Jan. 11, where he made 27 saves in a 3-1 win. (Update 4:50 pm: per John Forslund via Adam and Joe, Scott Darling will face the Capitals and Cam Ward will be in net tomorrow against the Rangers).
Brock McGinn - Jordan Staal - Justin Williams
Jeff Skinner - Elias Lindholm - Phil Di Giuseppe
Valentin Zykov - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Joakim Nordstrom - Derek Ryan - Lee Stempniak
Jaccob Slavin - Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin - Trevor van Riemsdyk
Haydn Fleury - Klas Dahlbeck
Injuries and Scratches: Victor Rask (upper body), Brett Pesce (upper body)
After last night’s overtime loss by the Devils, the Capitals became the first Metro Division team to clinch a playoff berth. They come into tonight’s game on a five-game winning streak. Keep an eye on Evgeny Kuznetsov, who has multiple points in six straight games. The Capitals held an optional skate this morning; Braden Holtby has been confirmed as tonight’s starter.
Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Brett Connolly
Michael Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos
Injuries and Scratches: Alex Chiasson (healthy), Shane Gersich (healthy), Jakub Jerabek (healthy)