When the Washington Capitals stepped onto the ice for pregame warm-ups, every player was wearing a jersey with the No. 22 on the back, but his regular name and sleeve numbers. That did not make identifying line rushes all that easy. This is Mike Knuble’s 1,000th game and the jerseys will be auctioned off.
But after close inspection, John Erskine comes out of the lineup Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators, replaced by Jeff Schultz. Schultz will at least start with Dennis Wideman.
This is Schultz’s first game since Dec. 7 at Ottawa.
Up front, coach Dale Hunter made changes for what he called matchup reasons. Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom get broken up, but against Shea Weber and Ryan Suter it might prove to be a valuable decision.
The lines and pairings:
Alex Ovechkin - Brooks Laich - Troy Brouwer
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Alexander Semin
Jason Chimera - Jeff Halpern - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Mathieu Perreault - Mike Knuble
Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Jeff Schultz - Dennis Wideman
Roman Hamrlik - Dmitry Orlov