Braden Holtby first off the ice for Capitals
It looks as though Braden Holtby will make his second NHL start against the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night after all. He was the first goaltender off the ice for the Capitals this morning at HSBC Arena and Michal Neuvirth is still working with presumed scratch D.J. King and the assistant coaches.
Holtlby will oppose last year's Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller, who is set to make his return to the Sabres net after missing the past six games with a knee injury.
"He's top goalie in the league. He's probably like 70 percent of the team and if he play great different guys feel better and play great too," Alex Ovechkin said about facing Miller. "It's a good challenge for us, I don't know how he feels we're going to have to make him work."
HSBC Arena hasn't always been the easiest place for the Capitals to play, and it hasn't been kind to the Sabres this year either. Buffalo is 0-6-1 at home.
"I just want to get back in the mix, get back playing and get in a rhythm here," Miller said. "It's a big challenge stepping back in against a good team, so just go back lighting the fire and trying to get our first win at home because it's become a little embarrassing."
Yesterday, Boudreau said he wasn't quite sure where rookie center Marcus Johansson fit better -- on the second line or third line. For the start of tonight's game at least, Johansson will center the second between Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble.
"I think they're all interchangeable," Boudreau said. "Fortunate or unfortunately I played with so many wingers that you just do what you do. And I found it always easy when another guy came in unless there's such good a good chemistry and right now we're still searching for the proper chemistry on still a lot of the units."
Although he considers many of the Capitals' forwards as easily rotatable, Boudreau added that part of the decision of where to put Johansson came down to the already comfortable familiarity between Tomas Fleischmann, Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr when they're on a line together.
"At the beginning of the year I didn't like as much the chemistry between Marcus, Fehr and Chimera," Boudreau said. "But when he played his last game in Boston, he was really good before he got hurt. I know [Alexander] Semin was on that line but I know Eric and Jason are really comfortable with Tom in the middle there. We'll see how it works and take it from there."
--It's not completely clear but Tom Poti may be the defensive scratch tonight after only just returning to the lineup Thursday against Tampa Bay after missing eight games with a groin injury. If that's the case Tyler Sloan will be back in and most likely paired with John Erskine.
| November 13, 2010; 12:47 PM ET
Categories: Braden Holtby, Buffalo Sabres, Marcus Johansson
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