Gameday: at Tampa Bay, Feb. 14

Troy Brouwer was a hero on Tuesday night. Can he do it again? (Clydeorama)

The Washington Capitals are in Tampa, Florida, this evening to take on the Lightning in another Southeast Division clash as they look to build on the momentum they have built with two wins over the Florida Panthers.  Washington, having won two in a row, is 4-8-1 for nine standings points; this places them last in both the Southeast Division and the Eastern Conference.  The Lightning, who came back late to tie the Canadiens on Tuesday but still lost in a shootout and are 6-5-1 overall for 13 points.  They therefore stand second in the Southeast and ninth in the Conference.  This is the second meeting between these two teams this season as the Bolts beat the Caps 6-3 on opening night.

Lightning coach Guy Boucher is almost certain to go with starter Anders Lindback in goal following a 31-save performance against the Habs earlier in the week.  Lindback, acquired from the Predators over the summer, has started nine games and posted a 2.94 GAA and .903 save percentage so far in his first season as a full-time starter.  On the injury front, Boucher’s team will be without power forward Ryan Malone, who was recently placed on injured reserve with a lower body injury and will miss at least ten days.

Braden Holtby, despite allowing five goals in what was actually not a bad performance on Tuesday, will start again for Adam Oates, the youngster’s third consecutive go in the net.  Holtby has posted a 4.04 GAA and .874 save percentage on the young season but has still made some big saves and will continue to be given chances to prove himself.  Marcus Johansson (upper body), Tom Poti (upper body), and Jack Hillen (shoulder) are all out and not even on the trip, while center Brooks Laich was just cleared for contact and is not expected to suit up either.  That said, expect an identical lineup to the one that beat Florida 6-5, which means Roman Hamrlik in the press box.

Puck drops 7:39-ish.  No recap from me tonight because of school obligations.

Harry Hawkings is a college student credentialed to cover the Capitals for RtR.  Follow him on Twitter here for all your news needs this season.

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