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Today's Caps lineup

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Here’s the lineup for today’s preseason matinee against the Rangers:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble

Laich-Morrison-Semin

Bourque-Steckel-Bradley

Laing-Gordon-Sugden

Schultz-Green

Erskine-Poti

Sloan-Pothier

Varlamov

Bruce Boudreau said Alexandre Giroux isn’t in the lineup because he’s already played four games and Keith Aucoin isn’t in because he needed to see Morrison play again. This probably isn’t a good sign for Giroux, who hasn’t been very impressive since the first game.

On Chris Bourque, Boudreau gave what has become his stock answer on evaluating bubble players — “I don’t know what I need to see from him, but I’ll know it when I see it.”

Boudreau also didn’t want to reveal if he was leaning towards keeping eight defensemen or not, but the hunch here is that it is going to happen. Provided he continues to play well today, betting on Tyler Sloan making the team as the No. 8 defenseman (so he doesn’t have to go through waivers) and the team keeping 13 forwards might not be a bad wager — unless the Caps decide to go with only 22 players because of the salary cap.

Under this scenario, Fleischmann and Fehr go on IR, Nylander is the 13th forward and the Caps keep either seven or eight defensemen.

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