Kronwall to play tonight (UPDATED)

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Bruce Boudreau just addressed the media while the Caps are on the ice for the morning skate. It was brief because most of the important questions are “5:00 questions” as he called them (i.e. who will be the goalie, which two defensemen will sit, etc.). So those are questions that might not be answered until later.

Boudreau did say Staffan Kronwall will make his Caps debut tonight — that much is certain. Viktor Kozlov is not on the ice, so he is almost certainly out tonight and, since there is no morning skate tomorrow, probably tomorrow as well.

With Florida’s win last night, the Panthers are now within nine points of the Caps for first in the Southeast, and they’re also within two points of fourth place in the Eastern Conference. These two games this weekend are suddenly a little more interesting.

UPDATE: Bruce Boudreau wouldn’t say who his goalie is tonight, but Michal Neuvirth was the first one off the ice. The guys left on the ice are Karl Alzner, Milan Jurcina, Jay Beagle and Brian Pothier. If the lines from yesterday’s practice remain the same this is how the lineup could look tonight:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin

Fleischmann-Fedorov-Fehr

Laich-Nylander-Bradley

Brashear-Steckel-Gordon

Morrisonn-Green

Poti-Kronwall

Schultz-Erskine

UPDATE: If Michal Neuvirth does make his NHL debut tonight, he may have his new mask on for it. It has the U.S. Capitol dome on the top like Brent Johnson’s, but it also has a Hershey Bears-esque bear on one side and “Neuvy” in chocolate lettering on the front. Not sure exaclty what is on the other side, and the goalies (particularly today) are off-limits during morning skates.

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