The Washington Times - December 18, 2009, 03:37PM

The Caps are just finishing up the morning skate here at GM Place in Vancouver. Jose Theodore will start again for the Caps against Roberto Luongo and the Canucks.

Based on the morning skate, the lineup will be the same tonight. Milan Jurcina and Tyler Sloan will be out again on defense.


Bruce Boudreau said Boyd Gordon (back) and Quintin Laing (broken jaw) are ready for game action, but it would be hard to put them in the lineup after the way everyone played Tuesday night in Denver. If both are ready to go, it could make for some interesting roster decisions.

For the Canucks, veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider will be a healthy scratch and replaced by callup Aaron Rome. Still no Alex Edler on the back end, either.

I’m pretty sure you might hear/see some Luongo vs. Ovechkin in the Olympics references tonight. Luongo is 15-10-3 in his career against the Caps, which includes a .930 save percentage — his fourth-best clip against a team in the league. Many of those games came against a bad Caps club when he was with Florida.

“People are making a big deal about the Caps being in town and obviously one of the best players in the league,” Luongo said. “It is exciting for everyone involved. … You look forward to these types of challenges.” 

The Caps are coming off one of their best performances of the season in a 6-1 thrashing of the Colorado Avalanche, who have slipped to seventh in the Western Conference since the Caps beat them.

The Canucks have a brand-new dressing room here at GM Place, and it is fabulous. It is a big circle, like something straight out of King Arthur’s days.

Vancouver remains outside the playoffs in the Western Conference, though they have as many points as Boston and Ottawa — teams that are tied for sixth in the East.

“We feel like we gave one away the other night, and we’re not happy about it,” Luongo said. “I’m sure the guys will be ready tonight.” 

As for Ovechkin, he spent another day being swarmed by Canadian media after practice. He signed autographs for about 400 people at The Bay here in Vancouver last night. He was weearing a Team Russia jersey, but he also donned a Hudson’s Bay coat that one Canadian writer, Mark Spector of Rogers SportNet, described as “an iconic piece of Canadian clothing that dates back to the beginning of [Canadian] time — like apple pie or a Yankees hat in the United States.”