Bruce Boudreau didn’t want to divulge which defensemen are playing tonight, but Shaone Morrisonn said he’s playing and Tom Poti is still on the ice with the other scratches (Eric Fehr and David Steckel). Jose Theodore will start for the Caps against the Bruins, who are a bit healthier than they were 10 days ago.
Milan Lucic (shoulder), Patrice Bergeron (concussion) and Andrew Ference (broken leg plus undisclosed) are all back in the lineup for the Bruins tonight. Phil Kessel remains out with mono, and Michael Ryder may not play because of the flu. Boston coach Claude Julien said Bergeron, a natural center, will play on the wing — likely on the second line in place of Ryder if he can’t go. Julien also said Ference was ready a couple of weeks ago, but had a different injury keeping him out until now.
Boudreau said Boston is the best team in the league and has no weaknesses. The Caps have defeated Boston twice this year (at home) and were trounced 7-2 by San Jose (on the road).
“Yeah, but San Jose was the second game without Mike Green,” Boudreau said. “I mean, I’m making excuses but I just found it a difficult thing. That first period in the San Jose game we were all over them but we couldn’t stop a beach ball. If our goaltending was on top its game that night, that wasn’t a 7-2 game.”
The Caps are also now a full week removed from the Ottawa loss, which had Boudreau steaming in the moments after the game at ScotiaBank Place. Yesterday was the first (and only) practice since a bad 3-2 loss in which the Caps gave up three power play goals, including one in the waning moments after a dumb penalty by Alexander Semin.
“It was a good thing for them that we had the break,” Boudreau said. “I’m still mad at that game. I’ve got to let it go because this is a new game today, but yeah for whatever reason that Ottawa game really got under my skin. Hopefully we learned from our mistakes. We are into game No. 49 so we should be learning from our mistakes by now.”