Gameday: vs. Nashville, 9/20: Baltimore Hockey Classic

The Washington Capitals will open their 2011-12 pre-season this evening with a game against the Nashville Predators at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore.  This is the first pre-season game for Washington and the second for Nashville as they prepare for the opening of the regular season in a little more than two weeks.

For Washington, the majority of Group A is expected to play tonight.  That means that several of Washington’s established top guns may give it a go.  This group includes Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Mike Knuble, and Brooks Laich.  In addition, two promising rookies may make get a chance to play as well: Cody Eakin and Stan Galiev. Michal Neuvirth is expected to start the contest in nets; he will be backed up by prospect Brandon Anderson.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz is also likely to bring north a lineup with many of his top players, including defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter as well as star goaltender Pekka Rinne.  The Predators played last night against the Panthers and none of these players suited up, making it very likely they play tonight.

Faceoff is scheduled for just after 7 P.M.  The game will not be televised.