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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Maple Leafs

Seymon Varlamov will start in goal tonight at Air Canada Center, where the banged up Caps try to take two points from the NHL's worst team. Vesa Toskala, meanwhile, is expected to be in net for the Maple Leafs.

Out for Washington are: Alexander Semin (wrist), Mike Knuble (broken finger), Boyd Gordon (back), Quintin Laing (broken jaw), Milan Jurcina (groin), Tom Poti (upper body) and Shaone Morrisonn (concussion).

Considering all that, the rest of the Caps' patchwork lineup should look like this:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Laich
Fleischmann-Morrison-A. Gordon
Clark-Perreault-Fehr
Steckel-Beagle-Bradley

Defense
Schultz-Green
Erskine-Pothier
Sloan-Carlson

Goalies
Varlamov
Theodore

I'll have more after the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 21, 2009; 5:30 PM ET
 
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Next: Maple Leafs 2, Caps 1 (SO)

Comments

man i love those lines.

Curious to how Gordon will play...don't know anything about him.

Posted by: Bike2work | November 21, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I am missing something. Sloan was the best D in camp and he is the least often played. Bradley has a great game in NYR and has more points/TOI then Semin and yet he never gets to the 2nd line?

Posted by: jgrasse | November 21, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

if Sloan is even among the best 4 d-men they've got, they're in even more trouble with the D than I ever thought...

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Holtby has the start tonight in Hershey.

Posted by: uncatim | November 21, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Bradley's game is not a "2nd line" game. He's grit rather than speed and finesse.

Posted by: gonchpup | November 21, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

@jgrasse & gonchpup

Agree. Bradley's game is grit -- not a first line game. Believe his average Points per Time on Ice went down after last night's game.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Another game that CSN and Verizon don't want Anne Arundel County to see.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 21, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

What channel is CSN+ on for Verizon FIOS? HELP!

Posted by: digster1013 | November 21, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have a link to the game?

Posted by: washingtoncapitals | November 21, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

The Caps management should give an push to Anne Arundel County not being able to see the CSN+ on Fios. Would think it would even matter to the other local teams. My heartburn is I pay for Center Ice and can't even see it there. Let's blame somebody. I say blame the Flyers.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 21, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Great work by Varly and the PKers. Unfortunately, McCreary is reffing tonight, so they'll probably get a lot of work.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | November 21, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

What channel is CSN+ Comcast in Arlington?

Posted by: Gooooner | November 21, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

CSN+ for Comcast (channel 77) is showing Book TV... Anybody else having this problem?

Posted by: Gooooner | November 21, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

In Annapolis, comcast has the game on 21.

Posted by: gonchpup | November 21, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: real8 | November 21, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks real8.

Posted by: uncatim | November 21, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

i have comcast.... the game is on Channel 4.... the nonHD is killing me

Posted by: vm114 | November 21, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Keith Aucoin puts Bears up 1-0 halfway through 2nd.

Posted by: uncatim | November 21, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Those of you on FIOS worry not, the game is on Channel #1 (not HD though)!!

Posted by: No12inVA | November 21, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Tied 1-1 in Hershey after 2.

Posted by: uncatim | November 21, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

WAtch game online here
http://www.atdhe.net/9632/watch-washington-capitals-vs-toronto-maple-leafs

this stinks - feed just went down!!!!!!
arrrrrghhhH!

the only chink in the FIOS armor is CSN+

ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Posted by: changestate | November 21, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Raber | November 21, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Sloan with yet another horrible giveaway.

He gets jittery with the puck in pressure situations.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 21, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

This game is really hard to watch!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | November 21, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

@uncatim

Glad Hershey is doing well. They must be more satisfying to watch than our guys.

Are we just a AAAA team or what?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

@DevilsCapsGal

Agreed. I'm debating whether to watch the third period or watch something else I'be been meaning to watch all day.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

what a yawner. would have rather seen Sugar up instead of Gordon. Orr and Mayers have been up to no good all night. sloan is just not very good.

Posted by: StanleyCap | November 21, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

@uncatim

Missed reading about the fact that Hershey lost their lead also. I have more confidence in Hershey's ability to win than I do in the Caps'.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: Hershey is now tied 2-2 with 11:45 left in the 3rd. I am not watching or even listening, just refreshing the game sheet. I've got the Caps on. Sigh. Better be a strong 3rd.

Posted by: uncatim | November 21, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Well for all you Semin haters out there:

You are seeing the future without Semin. Low scoring affairs that are losing causes. A totally abysmal power play unit.

Exhibit A: Yesterday's game in Montreal

Exhibit B: Today's game vs Toronto. (Okay we're not losing at the moment but I frankly don't feel that confident in the Caps chances of winning.)

This is the type of day where our goalie has to be absolutely perfect for us to have any chance of winning. And I mean absolutely perfect.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Well for all you Semin haters out there:

You are seeing the future without Semin. Low scoring affairs that are losing causes. A totally abysmal power play unit.

Exhibit A: Yesterday's game in Montreal

Exhibit B: Today's game vs Toronto. (Okay we're not losing at the moment but I frankly don't feel that confident in the Caps chances of winning.)

This is the type of day where our goalie has to be absolutely perfect for us to have any chance of winning. And I mean absolutely perfect.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

anyone having luck watching the game online? ADTHE feed is gone and Justin tv is asking for a code to watch the game

Posted by: UMWHockey | November 21, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

aren't we watching hershey?

Posted by: StanleyCap | November 21, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Anyone in Howard County have Verizon FIOS? It does not get CSN+ -- and there IS no channel # 1. I'm sick of the loser Wizards bumping the CAPS off of the air for me.

Posted by: Bear6962 | November 21, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

@StanleyCap

Yes we are. I guess we could say the Caps are a AAAA team, too good for the high minors but can't make the jump to the majors.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Everytime that the Caps get bumped to CSN+ its like some major surprise to some people when they can't find the game. People dump Verizon and get either Comcast or Directv.

Posted by: MKadyman | November 21, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Don't get Directv if you want to watch the Versus games.

Posted by: uncatim | November 21, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Going to OT at the Giant Center.

Posted by: uncatim | November 21, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of spoiled fans. While I agree the boys aren't at their best, consider the fact that they are missing 6 or 7 starters, arrived in Toronto early morning, are playing a team better than their record shows, and a team that is desperate for a win on home ice. Bruce and Ovie were interviewed and expected a tough game. Give them a break and pull for them.

Posted by: gonchpup | November 21, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

A super last (11) minute present!

http://saboor38.googlepages.com/nhl6.html

Posted by: ogdennash | November 21, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

ogdennash: Thanks. Namesake of my favorite poet.

Posted by: uncatim | November 21, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

It is going to a SO in Hershey.

Posted by: uncatim | November 21, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, how would u rank the D tonight. I would have:
1. Green
2. Pothier
3. Sloan
4. Carlson
5. Erkshine
6. Shultz
And from 3-6 there is much diffence

Posted by: jgrasse | November 21, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Bears fall in shoot out.

Posted by: uncatim | November 21, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

What a pass by Green and shot by Fehr! Nearly ended it.

That was the best point earned this season, in my opinion.

Why?

We looked flat. We got outhustled and outplayed. Our offense was fairly nonexistent and most of the play was in our end.

Those are the games we are supposed to lose as a run 'n gun team.

Varalmov was huge and our undermanned and tired team battled until the end.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 21, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Wish I could watch this game in HD. Why are the wizards on CSN over the Caps?

Posted by: RockRed | November 21, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

@jgrasse -- Schultz hasn't been that bad tonight. Erskine is just terrible though. SOO slow.

Posted by: butcherbaker | November 21, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Watching OV on defense has been different recently. He used to slide to block shots when absolutely necessary. There were more than 5 times when he should have made that play in this game and didn't. Still hurt? Olympics this year? Not the playoffs?

He just hasn't been the same old Ovechkin.

Posted by: Raber | November 21, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Leafs commentators are talking like the game is already over (as in Toskala is that bad).

Posted by: Raber | November 21, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh well...

I'll take the loser point.

Varalmov was incredible tonight. Player of the Game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 21, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic - no excuses. You don't lose to a team this bad in regulation, OT, or a SO. Bad bad bad bad. Yea it's one point but ehhh. Oh well. This is another game pissed away after some solid goaltending. Time for some guys to start STEPPING UP and scoring. Oh well.

Off to Ottawa - need to bring the A game on Monday night.

Ice Breakers Goal Shakers

Posted by: Jonathan6 | November 21, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Edit: Varlamov was huge tonight.

He deserves to have his name spelled right after that performance.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 21, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Bad game. I am relieved we got the one point in overtime, which, by the way, was the BEST I hoped for.

We are a AAAA team!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

The boys were just too tired. There's another place we miss Semin btw.

We play Monday and Wednesday too? CAN WE GET A BREAK TO HEAL?!?!

Posted by: Raber | November 21, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess you can say the Caps stole a point in the ACC tonight. They were clearly tired and undermanned. Let's hope we get back a defender or two before Ottawa!

Posted by: Terptwin | November 21, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

@Raber

Toronto's commmentators truly know nothing. Didn't they know that we are the absolute worst first place team in the history of hockey? We are the league leaders in Division 3. The Atlantic is Division 1. The North East is Division 2.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic game by Varly. He deserved a win, but I'll definitely take the point on the road. Now on to Ottawa!

Posted by: wocoliz | November 21, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

the Leafs deserved to win... they're lucky to get a point

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

2 back to back loses against 2 of the worse teams in NHL - This is unacceptable.Great Varlamov, poor effort from the others.They totally outplayed us Injuries are not an excuse. Something has to be changed, some guys have to go away if we want to win something.

Posted by: Tondi | November 21, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

@Raber

Yes, we have seen the future without Semin, which, if many fans and bloggers have their way, is what next year will be. Low scoring losses.

BTW, the Semin detractors say that we should trade him for a top flight forward who doesn't get as many penalties and doesn't miss as many games.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Varly was great in regulation and in the OT. He ran out of gas for the shootout. I knew that he had to be perfect for us to have ANY chance of winning at all. And, as soon as Hagman scored, I knew it was all over for us. And was just praying they could survive to overtime.

That's pathetic. To be relieved when we make OT with a BAD team. I guess we have a AAAA team at the moment, too good for the high minors and not good enough for the NHL.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

If Semin, of all people, was our only hope to win this game, then we really aren't a good team. He probably wouldn't have scored anyways and would have probably hooked two or three people.

Posted by: Unleash_The_Caps | November 21, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Remember, kids: even the Nationals beat the Yankees sometimes.

Abracadabra, thus we learn,
The more you create, the less you earn.
The less you earn, the more you're given,
The less you lead, the more you're driven,
The more destroyed, the more they feed,
The more you pay, the more they need
The more you earn, the less you keep,
And now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul should take
If the tax collector hasn't got it before I wake.

Posted by: ogdennash | November 21, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

@uncatim

Hershey's game was just like the Caps.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Every last team in the league goes through lulls, especially in the salary cap era where there is so much parity. We are no exception.

There are no gimmes in this league. Any team can beat any other team on any given night.

It's a long season. We won't always be on the mountain top. If you're expecting that, you'll be disappointed far too often.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 21, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

@DevilsCapsGal

If the Caps can't go anywhere this year, I'd see your other team win the Eastern Conference Final than Pittsburgh. The Devils seem like a model organization.

(Okay, as upset as I am at the moment, I have not totally given up on them. They have one thing going for them. They are in the South Least division.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

By the way, what a time for Mike Green to step up his game. He did have 4 giveaways tonight but he's played with an edge the last two games at a time where we needed it more than ever.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 21, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75:

I'd rather see the Caps win than my other team, but one of them is better than any other team, especially Pi$$burgh! But the Devils are more beaten up than we are - did you see they lost Zubrus to a fractured kneecap caused when a shot hit his knee and dented his shin protector?

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | November 21, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

@Tondi

Who do you propose should go away to fix our team?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

@Unleash_The_Caps

And it's not just Semin we miss but Knuble too.

Granted when Semin is bad, he is horrid but, fortunately, he is not horrid most of the time. When all is said and done, we are a better team with the guy than without him.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

@DevilsCapsGal

Sorry about poor Zubie. Glad you like the Caps better than the Devils but I have more confidence in the long term prospects of the Devils for this year.

I asked my husband who he would root for if he ever got transferred to the NY area and he said he'd root for the Devils. (Like me, he despises the Isles and the Rangers. This year I converted him to Penguin hatred.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

@Jonathan6

We need some more healthy bodies so we can have a snowball's chance in hell of bringing our A game.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

@ capsfan
I'll start with Shultz, Juice, Poti, Fehr,Clark and of course Nyl

Posted by: Tondi | November 21, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I'll start with Shultz, Juice, Poti, Fehr,Clark and of course Nyl

Posted by: Tondi | November 21, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

don't stop there... why not get rid of all of them and start over???

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

@raber regarding Ovi not making the plays he normally does, I didn't watch the game, but on the OBs, a bunch of people felt that Ovi wasn't skating like he normally does so maybe he has a "lower body" injury as well.

Posted by: dfe1 | November 21, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

@ joek443
I didn't mean all of them but at least the half oh them 3 out of 6, prefer to start in the order i put them

Posted by: Tondi | November 21, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

@Tondi

Don't agree with all the recommended departures. I agree on Nyls. His remaining here is hamstringing our mobility in moves.

While I see an upside in Poti, he's the logical defender to move to make room for callups. So I agree there.

I love Clark dearly but know he hasn't been as good.

Don't get rid of Fehr or Schultz yet. Fehr has actually been one of our better players as of late.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

whether you like Semin or not, when he's not in the lineup, they miss him in all three situations of the game - even strength, PP and PK.

also when he's playing, Ovie or whoever else is on the ice with him will have more room because he's a threat to score anytime. The Leafs didn't give Ovie much room tonight... when he finally got a break and a great pass from Green, he buried it in the net like he usually does.

when there's both of them out there, they can't always mark them closely.

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Tondi - Can I have some of what you've been smoking? We have the 2nd best team in the league and have been playing without some of our top players lately, and I think the kids from Hershey have stepped in pretty well.

Posted by: gonchpup | November 21, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

@dfe1

When could Ovi have gotten a "lower body" injury? He skated fine against the Rags or was that pure adrenaline at being back?

And Backstrom hasn't been the same since Nov 1 either. He was ill and they ruled out swine flu but I wonder..... He did get sick after Laing. Could he have been affected by the virus but a mild enough dose so as not to get a fever? I wonder who Laing got it from. Semin? He was sick the previous week.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Amen to your comment on Semin. We are now seeing what the team will be like if they let Semin go. Low scoring, losing affairs with a totally abysmal power play.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75 - Clark's playing fine. These role-players can't be measured by points alone. Guys like Clark, Steckel, Laing, etc... do their share in other facets of the game.

Posted by: gonchpup | November 21, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Poti isn't going anywhere... he and Green are the two d-men BB trusts more than any others. Fehr has been playing well.

and as far as Shultz, Juice and Clark they're not gonna get anything for them anyway so what's the point of bringing in new people? they're better off sticking with them

as far as Nyls, who knows what's really been going on??

Posted by: joek443 | November 22, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75, I don't know Ovi could have gotten injured, but I'm just repeating what others have noticed--that being that he isn't skating the way he normally does. As I said, I didn't see the game and was hoping that you guys on here did and was looking for your insight as to whether or not Ovi's skating looked "off".

Posted by: dfe1 | November 22, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

Clark has looked much improved since Perreault came up. You got a point about our grinders' contributions not showing up in the score sheet. (Believe me, I'm rooting for Clark and feel so bad for him that he had so many injury troubles.)

If I were a veteran Cap player in my 30's, my best friend on the team would probably be Clark.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 22, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I heard Brian Burke basically gave the team an ultimatum before the game... Ron Wilson isn't going anywhere, either start playing well or you will be the one shipped out.

the Leafs responded and played well, did a good job on Ovie, especially Beauchemin who was on the ice just about every time Ovie was.

Posted by: joek443 | November 22, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

@dfe1

While I did watch the game, I haven't seen a hint of "lower body injury". But I probably don't know where to look.

It does seem like he's off and not hitting anything (except that one shot tonight).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 22, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

On Nyls, that's the truth.

All I know is he passed waivers. But he hasn't gone anywhere. Is it possible he'll remain in limbo for the rest of the year? No playing time. No trade. No loan to a European team. Not even practicing at Kettler.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 22, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I think that was the worste caps game ive seen in a long time.the only one that was in the game was varly.they all seemed out of gas and no passion for the game.And ovi hasnt been himself since he came back.when the heart of the team aint beating then the rest of the team is gonna die.And thats what semms to be happening.BB needs to bring the love and passion back into these guys or its gonna be a tough road ahead.get it together caps.LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: gratefuldid | November 22, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we should put Ovi on a line with Morrison and Laich. The latter two are usually together anyhow. Laich is a better combination with Morrison and we all know Morrison did well on a line with Ovi (and Knuble).

Let's put Backstrom with Flash and Fehr. Maybe Nick needs to be moved down for a little bit.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 22, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

@gratefuldid

And it was such a shame that the only way that Varly could have won was with a shutout. He had absolutely NO margin of error whatsoever.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 22, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Coach's comment on Ovi:

"I thought he was better than last night," Boudreau said. "When he first came back, he wasn't a 100 percent. A guy like Alex , just wanted to play. And so he played. He'll be better against Ottawa. That was an injury ...a lot of guys would have been out another week or two. I'm not worried about him."

Posted by: dfe1 | November 22, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

@CAPSFAN75 YOU ARE SO RIGHT.Its a shame varly gets a lose when he played his heart out.And the goal that scored on him was even a flukey kind of goal.The guys definitly have his back tonight and on the shootout i totally dont blame varly.It should of never even got to that point.you can only do so good before something may go wrong.Its just a shame the caps couldnt pull through before it got to that point.All in all it was just a bad showing for the caps against a down team.

Posted by: gratefuldid | November 22, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

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