A 1-3-1 start to the preseason was not exactly what the Washington Capitals had in mind, but after a comeback victory Friday, they will look to build on that momentum with a victory in their preseason finale against the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday at Verizon Center.
Trailing 3-2 late in the third period against the Buffalo Sabres Friday, Matt Hendricks' goal and Nicklas Backstrom's shootout winner lifted Washington to a 4-3 victory. The lineup Friday was similar to what Washington should start next Saturday in the regular season home opener against the Carolina Hurricanes, including all six of their top defensemen. The only exceptions were Mike Knuble (scratch) and Michal Neuvirth (minor injury). Via Mike Vogel, the Caps should play their top nine forwards Sunday and Neuvirth will get the start in goal.
The Blackhawks should also have something similar to their expected regular season lineup Sunday. In a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday, Chicago's lineup included Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Ray Emery started in goal for the Blackhawks Friday, so Corey Crawford could get the start Sunday.
This is the second meeting of the preseason between the Caps and Blackhawks; Chicago scored three goals in the third period in a 3-2 victory last Friday. The game will be televised on NHL Network at 5 p.m.