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Tonight's Lineup: Caps at Rangers

Here's the Caps' lineup for tonight's preseason game at MSG:

Forwards:
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin
Giroux-Aucoin-Clark
Laich-Steckel-Bradley
Laing-Beagle-Sugden

Defense:
Schultz-Alzner
Erskine-Green
Sloan-Jurcina

Theodore
Varlamov

Some other notes:

*Brandon Sugden will make his preseason debut against the Rangers, who, of course, will have former Caps heavyweight Donald Brashear in the lineup.

"We knew they have a physical guy," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Donald is definitely a heavyweight. I have to see if [Sugden] can play. I've never coached a guy who sits on the bench all game and fights. He has to be able to play. He's not overly quick, but in the practices and scrimmages, he was responsible."

If Sugden plays well, he could be the type of player who gets called up when the Caps feel they need a heavyweight, Boudreau said.

*Brendan Morrison hasn't played in a game since being checked from behind in Buffalo late in the preseason opener. He's suffering from whiplash-like symptoms but should should be fine.

"He got that shot in Buffalo and has, not woozy, just been sore," Boudreau said. "He should be ready to play Sunday."

*Chris Bourque, who has been out since taking a high hit in Monday's game, will return to practice tomorrow and could play Sunday, Boudreau said.

"When you're hurt it never helps," Boudreau said. "But Chris looks like he's an NHL guy. Whether, in the end, he can make our team, he's right on the bubble. He's got competition on the left side from Quintin Laing and Alexandre Giroux."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 24, 2009; 5:27 PM ET
 
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Next: Rangers 3, Caps 2

Comments

I sure hope they let Neuvirth play the last preseason game...

Posted by: craigr726 | September 24, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it crazy that we can watch the game tonight but won't be able to see the opening season game in Boston, because of the Versus Direct TV battle. Oh well. BTW--FIRST. Sorry had to say it.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 24, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh no. Second. Sigh!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 24, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

where is the game on - streaming?

Posted by: efa108 | September 24, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

What! Why don't they have Knuble in the line up? With each game he has under his belt, he gets more effective and integrated.

I wish the best for the Giroux/Aucoin pair. If they could duplicate their successes at Hershey, we would be unbeatable. They may need more time playing consistently here to really come up to this level.

As for Nyls, atybat has it exactly right. "You can't judge from last year. He was never given the opportunity to perform."

And I completely agree that "He may still be in the picture if the Caps go through a catastrophic string of injuries but his playing shape and his confidence will be so low that it will be like a self-fulfilling prophecy."

It is very disturbing to hear that "For all purposes, the Caps have lowered his tradeable value to 0." A fat paycheck does not solve all problems when you are treated as a pariah, live apart from your family, and your reputation is mud.

Posted by: caraveli | September 24, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Still no Nyls and I cannot image them playing him in the "dress rehearsal" on Sunday. GMGM, time to pull the rabbit out of your hat. Maybe he can talk Glen Sather into taking him back tonight.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 24, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

What! Why don't they have Knuble in the line up? With each game he has under his belt, he gets more effective and integrated.

Posted by: caraveli

BB said in his morning skate interview that he game him and Poti the night off since they are both in their 30s and he doensn't want to push them for a pre-season game.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 24, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

FYI... Game is being shown on the MSG Channel (#634 if you have DirecTV).

Posted by: pkendrick | September 24, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Knuble has 84 friggin' games to get "more effective and integrated" before the REAL season starts in April.

the NHL preseason is just about as worthless and a waste of time as the NFL preseason except for those few players on the bubble.

Posted by: joek443 | September 24, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

go to http://www.atdhe.net

it says caps vs. islanders but it will be the rangers game

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 24, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Nylander? Paging Mr. Nylander....

Posted by: oldtimehockey | September 24, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

So Sugden gets one chance to prove himself..ouch! Hopefully he's in for both ends of the home and home

I love Bruce's "he's not overly quick" comment. If he's lookin for overly quick enforcers he's gonna be lookin for a loong time, lol

I want Beagle to play well so he gets a callup or two this year. Then move Steck to the 3rd line full time and move in JayB to the 4th line center position.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

lets go sugden! hopefully you still have a face after this game.

Posted by: caps512 | September 24, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

@ a previoud thread mention the only reason i could watch the game on atdhe.net was because it was the feed from the caps jumbotron and so i wont be able to to tonight.

no, i was also able to watch the buffalo game, and chicago away games on adthe.net. and i can't watch the game streaming on caps.com because i am outside their area. im all the way up in alaska, not quite close enough to dc to get games lol. until the season starts and i use gamecenterlive on nhl.com atdhe,net works great!

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 24, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what number Sugden will be wearing? The atdhe.net feed is pretty small and it can be hard to see names.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 24, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Also, for those of you who say that due to DirecTV disputes, you won't be able to watch the opener, there are a few places that you can go to watch it. The Caps are throwing a viewing party at Hard Times Cafe in Springfield, and it's my understanding that ESPNZone in DC can get the feed as well. If that's the case, ESPNZone Baltimore might have it as well.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 24, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

you can make the feed full screen

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 24, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 24, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

just watching the caps PK - anyone else notice they were trying to put some pressure on the puck handler? could woods be behind this ...

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 24, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Yes...they did seem to be more agressive for sure.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 24, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

bad play by erskine, theo should have gotton at least a piece of that one

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 24, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

semin - best hands and puck control in the league!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 24, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

sugden...

Posted by: MNMNT | September 24, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

sugden - didn't back down from brash :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 24, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

brash falls down ,,,,,,,,booed by rangers fans,,lol good by good ridance

Posted by: wendel2 | September 24, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Go Sugden! I loved seeing that.

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 24, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Ranger broadcast claims Brash went down because he lost his balance, looked like a little inside right landed flat on the jaw. Doesn't really matter, the fight was fun, but won't have an impact on the game. Two 5th line guys squared off and now their in the box.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 24, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

If Gaborik can stay healthy....watch out.

Silly PIM by Semin

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 24, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

dumb dumb dumb penalty

Posted by: MNMNT | September 24, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Nice finish by Aucoin!!!

Posted by: puckman | September 24, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Ovi passing to Aucoin for the finish rather than Semin. BRILLIANT!!! No way Lundqvist predicted Aucoin would be the shooter with those 3 coming at him.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 24, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. Lund was expecting OV or Semin to shoot, not that short guy from Hershey. :) Go Aucoin! keep em commin.

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 24, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or has Giroux been a ghost out there?

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 24, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Anybody following the Pens/Bluejackets game? 2 periods in the books and Crosby has only played 2 minutes.

Posted by: gonchpup | September 24, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

what happened to theo? why is varly in?

Posted by: kmr2r | September 24, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

ralCapsFan:
your right, i haven't really seen him do anything. schultz on the other hand has been throwing some checks along the boards

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 24, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

@kmr2r

Theo is still in

@CaptKAZ

Agreed...think Schultz has been nice.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 24, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

sugden held his own. brashier is getting old. Good thing we didn't waste 1 miilion on him.

Posted by: puckman | September 24, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

brash is a has been

Posted by: wendel2 | September 24, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Ovi shouldn't try that move in his own end - to risky. in the offensive zone it is worth the attempt

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 24, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

omg another blown pp

Posted by: wendel2 | September 24, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Is Sugden now our enforcer?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 24, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I checked the box score and noticed that Alzner, of all people, got a penalty. He's usually Mr. Clean.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 24, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is I am happy Brash is on their team and not ours. He has 4 penalties so far. It used to make me so mad when he took penalty after penalty -- often resulting in goals against us.

Posted by: caraveli | September 24, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Lost my feed :(

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 24, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

First, who is Sudgen? I'm really confused...

Second, who did Brashear fight with?

Posted by: rachel216 | September 24, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Or Sugden...

Posted by: rachel216 | September 24, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

@rachel

Sudgen is a bruiser who played (I think) with Hartford of the AHL last year and racked up a # of PIMS...dont know much about him

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 24, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Good to see Alzner leading in ice-time.

Posted by: gonchpup | September 24, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks ralCapsFan, I have no idea who he is...

Posted by: rachel216 | September 24, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

@ralCapsFan & @rachel

I hear he was out of hockey for awhile due to substance abuse issues.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 24, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

crap!!!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | September 24, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Dang. Brads let him in. Juice laid a big hit on him but too little too late.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 24, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Steckel gets lazy and doesn't tie up Higgins so he taps it in.

Posted by: puckman | September 24, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey fellow Caps fans ... what's the score?

Posted by: --Boo-- | September 24, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

What little of the game I saw Schultz looked good, no?

Posted by: Sonyask | September 24, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Boo- the game is final, Rangers win 3-2 on late goal with 1 min left.

Posted by: rachel216 | September 24, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

-Boo-, Caps gave up on with less than 2 to go in the third; missteps by Bradley and Steckel. 3-2 Rags.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 24, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Thank God, it's only preseason. For Theodore this preseason, it seems like the Caps offense just seems to take the day off.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 24, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

A preseason game with two full Hershey lines against the Rangers roster (minus Avery), they hung in there. No big deal..

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 24, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Bugger! Oh well, thanks guys ... we'll get 'em Sunday in our own house! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | September 24, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

And Knuble will be in the lineup on Sunday, probably. We need him back to calm down the boys. Next question: will Morrison and Bourque be okay?

It's nice that we have plenty of prospects to look over even at this late stage of preseason. Next question: who's lost their job at this point.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 24, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

@ejohnsto

You got the right perspective. We basically ran two Hershey lines (although Clark was in one of them.) Yet, Aucoin scored his goal when he was on the ice with Ovy and Semin.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 24, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I didn't notice much from Giroux. He may be the next one 86ed. Aucoin looked great. So did Sudgen :)

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 24, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I figure Aucoin should definitely stay. For some reason, he seems to do well on a line with Semin. Note: the second line is the one that's in disarray due to injuries.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 24, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

It's really hard to decide who should stay. Perrault has done very well this preseason. Aucoin did well, today. Laing has done well as a shot blocker.

I'd want to keep both of the little French guys (Perrault and Aucoin). Perrault, who's good and young.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 24, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4497869

sure hope these guys know what they're talking about

Posted by: joek443 | September 24, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

@ejohnsto

Agreed...think the 75 goal man may be hitting the road. At this point with him being AWOL recently and Bourque's injury...think that leaves:

Aucoin
Laing
Beagle

as the last guys standing for the two spots remaining.

Agree?

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 24, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

opps...forgot Perrault who has looked good as pointed out

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 24, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Just Barnaby I mean, not Melrose... LOL

Posted by: joek443 | September 24, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Let's keep Les Petites Chocolates Enfants (i.e. Aucoin and Perrault). Had to use the French in honor of their ancestry. (Little Chocolate kids)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 24, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

here you go peeps, rounds 1 and 2 Brash v Sugden. If the Caps had a different mentality towards fighting they'd find a way to get Sugden into at least 30 games this year. He can skate better than Brash, he's cheap and he's hungry to make an impression. Just gotta find a way to get him in on the 50 contract limit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJTlaRWbi98&feature=player_embedded#t=30

2nd fight you see more of the play develop. Schultz makes a bit more than a timid effort and pins his guy along the boards (nice to see some improvement there). Beagle comes up to guard Brash who shoves Sugden who drops the gloves and off they go!

http://www.hockeyfights.com/forums/f9/washington-ny-rangers-9-24-09-a-127381/

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I hate back to back games. Caps never do well in both. Okay, it's only preseason. And Knuble wasn't there.

Knuble's absence was keenly felt. Now we know why we acquired him. We need him to keep the kids in line. Note: the kids all got penalties. Granted, the kids weren't horrible but they're better with Knuble.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 24, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Brash shows his endurance in the 2nd fight. Sugden wanted to just hang on after landing a couple early. He's got to improve his conditioning. For anyone curious, Sugden has a pretty interesting story...He was one of the top AHl fighters a few yrs ago but his path to the NHL was blocked by Jody Shelley who was the BlueJackets regular enforcer. Sugden then ran into some pretty big substance abuse issues. Now he's starting his long road back.

http://www.mlnsports.com/hockey/ahl/crunch/articles2004/012704.html

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Brash gets twice as much ice time as Sugden got tonight and he had 5 hits to Sugden's zero. Not bad for the big galoot. But Torts hates to play his tough guys so Brash's ice time will diminish in the regular season significantly. That was one of the reasons Colton Orr bolted. He knew he'd get a ton more ice time in Toronto and in the preseason he's already penciled in as the Leafs 3rd line RW.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

1. Knuble is a great addition to the team, a definite upgrade over Kozlov but he's not the second coming of Gordie Howe.

2. How far this team goes this year depends largely on how much they can improve on team defense, they will have to be near top third in GA and PK.

Posted by: joek443 | September 24, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

OK, I don't normally do this, but why isn't anyone screaming about Semin's tripping penalty that led directly to the Rangers' second goal? That trip was deliberate, it was in retaliation for a hit, and it was both selfish and STUPID. Semin needs to be swatted and yelled at for doing that, in Russian, by anyone who can speak it, to be damn sure he understands never to do that again!!! You can't tell me he did it by accident; he was looking the direction he flipped his stick out in, and he KNEW the guy would trip over it.

The first goal they got, that was all on Erskine for a misplayed pass. He was clearly expecting someone to be where they were not, and went tape-to-tape with a guy in the wrong jersey.

OK. Now that I've gotten the snarling off my chest...

Aucoin's goal was a thing of beauty, and Ovechkin passing to him was a brilliant move. NOBODY expected it, least of all Lundqvist.

Penalty kill still looks VERY sharp.

Posted by: irockthered | September 24, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin had two awful turnovers tonight.

What is the critera for a giveaway by the way? I'm not clear on that.

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 24, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I have a rule against screaming and getting upset over anything that happens in a game that doesn't count.

Posted by: joek443 | September 24, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Why was Varly in the game for 7 seconds?

Posted by: bagasome | September 24, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Some people underreact to preseason games even though most overreact.

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 24, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

bagasome,

Probably because he is a faster skater and they were planning on pulling the goalie. Not sure though.

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 24, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

OK, I don't normally do this, but why isn't anyone screaming about Semin's tripping penalty that led directly to the Rangers' second goal? That trip was deliberate, it was in retaliation for a hit, and it was both selfish and STUPID. Semin needs to be swatted and yelled at for doing that, in Russian, by anyone who can speak it
Posted by: irockthered | September 24, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

finally we meet eye to eye. Semin's made a habit of dumb stupid penalties over the course of his short career. I'd say he's tops in the NHL over the past 3 yrs with dumb stupid penalties. They're all either retaliatory penalties where he liberally swings his stick around or they're lazy penalties that stem from his own turnovers

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 25, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

cstanton1: thanks for the background on Sugden. When did we get him? BTW I liked him out there last night. Was kinda expecting a fight between Sugden and Brash. Thought the up-and-comers held their own. Happily BB has some tough roster decisions.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 25, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

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