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Today's Lineup vs. Boston

Cristobal Huet will start in net for the Caps and is expected to oppose Boston's Alex Auld this afternoon at Verizon Center.

Washington comes in four points behind Philadelphia for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference and five points behind Carolina for the Southeast Division lead.

The seventh-place Bruins are coming off a 3-2 overtime win over Philadelphia yesterday. (The Caps, obviously, really could have used a regulation decision in that one. More on that later.)

Meantime, Boston's all-star defenseman Zdeno Chara (upper body) will miss his fifth consecutive game today. That's good news for Alex Ovechkin, who has said on a number of occasions that Chara is his biggest nemesis.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said he plans to use the same lineup that beat Atlanta, 4-1, on Friday. Just in case you've forgotten, here it is again:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Cooke-Fedorov-Semin
Fleischmann-Laich-Fehr
Brashear-Gordon-Bradley

Defense
Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Schultz
Lepisto-Jurcina

Boudreau had some interesting comments in his pre-game chat with reporters:

My first question to Boudreau began like this: "Those three-point games are killing ..." But before I could finish, he blurted out, "[Peeve] me off? Yeah. You knew it was going to happen because Philly had so many chances to put [Boston] away. But they didn't put them away. So I said, 'Something bad is going to happen.' And unfortunately it did."

Asked about Ovechkin possibly benefiting from Chara's absence, Boudreau said: "What makes it difficult for Alex against Boston is that [Chara] is so big and strong. But I've got to believe someone will be on him most of the night, as is the case with every team we play."

About turning to Huet after two solid starts by Olie Kolzig, Boudreau explained: "We want both of them to stay sharp. And we want both of them to feel part of it. Both have been sharp. When you have both goalies playing real good and they play different styles completely, it makes it a) more difficult for the other team and b) it keeps [the goalies] on their toes. They are both really competitive guys. They like each other, but they both want to be 'The Guy'. It's a good battle within the battle."

That's it for now.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 16, 2008; 1:48 PM ET
 
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