Jeff Halpern had a brutal giveaway that led to a goal Friday night, and it looks like his benching for much of that game wasn’t the end of the situation. Dale Hunter scratched the veteran forward for the Washington Capitals’ game Sunday against the Minnesota Wild.
Hunter opted for seven defensemen instead, which means Dmitry Orlov’s return to the lineup. Halpern and Keith Aucoin both saw significant time on the bench Friday against the Jets, and Aucoin will skate on the fourth line again Sunday.
Halpern was a healthy scratch Sunday.
Braden Holtby gets the start in goal against Minnesota rookie Matt Hackett. Last time out, Holtby was hard on himself for giving up two goals in the shootout in Philadelphia. But Hunter was complimentary of his young goaltender, handing him his third start in four games this week against the Wild.
Neither Hunter nor Yeo was willing to announce his starting goaltender two hours before the game. But does it make a difference?
“Certainly the way you prepare could be a little bit different,” Yeo said. “You can look at shootout tendencies and concentrate on one person a little bit more. But not that much.”
Here are the lines from pregame warm-ups:
Alex Ovechkin - Brooks Laich - Mike Knuble
Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Alexander Semin
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Troy Brouwer
Marcus Johansson - Keith Aucoin - Rotating forward
Karl Alzner - Dennis Wideman
Roman Hamrlik - Mike Green
Jeff Schultz - Dmitry Orlov