The Caps will square off with conference-leading Boston in a little less than two hours here at the Derek Jeter Center, er, TD BankNorth Garden. Bruce Boudreau said the 18 skaters will not change, so Michael Nylander and Staffan Kronwall will again be healthy scratches.
This is the first time this season that Nylander has been a scratch in back-to-back games. Jose Theodore will be back in net after a game off. Boudreau did not commit to either goalie for tomorrow’s game against Florida at the Phone Booth. He said he would decide after today’s contest between Theodore or rookie Michal Neuvirth for the Panthers.
Tomas Fleischmann has only one goal in the past 17 games, and Boudreau said his Czech winger came to him to talk about his struggles, but Boudreau doesn’t agree. He said Fleischmann has been one of the team’s better players in the past few games, but guys aren’t finishing when he sets them up.
He does have eight points in those 17 games. It seems like he defers to Eric Fehr a little when they play together, but maybe that’s because he is a setup man at heart and Fehr is a pure shooter.
Boudreau also made an interesting comparison between Boston defenseman Dennis Wideman and Washington center Nicklas Backstrom. He said that like Backstrom, who gets less credit than he deserves because of Alex Ovechkin, Wideman too doesn’t get the props he is due because of Zdeno Chara. Wideman has 12 goals, 42 points and is a plus-30, which are the best offensive numbers of any No. 2 defenseman in the league not named Brian Rafalski.