Having won nine of 10, there’s no reason for Adam Oates and the Capitals to change anything. So they’re not.
The same lines from this recent stretch took the ice for Monday’s practice in preparation for Tuesday night’s potential Southeast Division clincher against the Winnipeg Jets.
That meant no Brooks Laich (groin) or Joel Ward (left knee). There is no timetable for either forward to return.
The Caps will have an eye on the Jets’ game Monday night at the Buffalo Sabres. If Winnipeg wins, the Caps need to win in regulation Tuesday to clinch the division. If Winnipeg loses, the Caps clinch with a victory of any kind.
There is no way Washington can clinch the division with a loss to the Jets at Verizon Center on Tuesday. The Caps outscored the Jets 13-1 in their past three meetings, all at MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
Here’s a look at the lines that the Caps are expected to feature for the biggest game of the season:
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Alex Ovechkin
Martin Erat - Mike Ribeiro - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Eric Fehr
Aaron Volpatti - Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle
Karl Alzner - Mike Green
John Erskine - John Carlson
Jack Hillen - Steve Oleksy