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Tonight's Lineup vs. Atlanta

The Caps open a critical, three-game Southeast Division swing tonight in Atlanta with Olie Kolzig in goal. He's is scheduled to oppose Kari Lehtonen, who made 36 saves to shutout Washington, 2-0, in the teams' last meeting on Feb. 2.

Here's the rest of the Caps' lineup:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Fleischmann-Gordon-Semin
Pettinger-Laich-Fehr
Brashear-Steckel-Bradley

Defense
Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Jurcina
Schultz-Erskine

Left wing Quintin Laing and Steve Eminger are the healthy scratches.

A few of more notes of interest:

*While most folks at Philips Arena will be focused on the head-to-head matchup between Russian wingers Alex Ovechkin (47 goals) and Ilya Kovalchuk (39), the key matchup for me is Atlanta center Todd White vs. the rest of the Caps. White has scored four of his 11 goals against Washington, including a pair of winners.

*This could be Marian Hossa's last home game as a member of the Thrashers if he doesn't sign an extension before the trade deadline. And before you ask, no, he's not coming to Washington.

*I asked Bruce Boudreau for his take on Tomas Fleischmann's two-year contract extension, which was announced this morning. He told me exactly what I suspected he would: Boudreau thinks this kid is going to be pretty good someday.

"His numbers aren't great this year, but look at the number of great chances he's had, the passes that he's created," Boudreau said of Fleischmann. "If we finished them, he could have maybe 35, 38 points right now. It's not there right now, but it's his first year and he's just learning the league."

"It's too difficult to get guys with that much skill and that much vision and letting them go. I think George did a great job getting him signed."

That's it for now.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 13, 2008; 5:06 PM ET
 
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