BALLSTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals held their typical pregame morning skate Wednesday in preparation for their game against the New York Rangers. While it seemed that there wouldn't any changes in the lineup, there will be one.
Jay Beagle did not take part in the extra work with the team's apparent scratches, while Mathieu Perreault did. Perreault confirmed after he left the ice that he will not play Wednesday and head coach Dale Hunter said that Jay Beagle will take Perreault's place in his first game since October 13.
"When someone gets an injury, he's one of these kids that want to play," Hunter said. "You see how hard he works in practice, by watching practice, that he wants to play. He'll give us some energy, he gives us size. Especially against the Rangers, the third, fourth lines are big guys and we need some size."
Perreault was injured during the third period of Washington's 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Monday when his stick got caught on the boards during an attempted hit and speared him in the midsection. He stayed behind in Buffalo after the team left for observation, but returned to practice Tuesday. Despite that, Perreault said Wednesday that he's still sore and it sounds like the team is taking precautionary measures.
Beagle hasn't played since suffering a concussion during his fight with the Pittsburgh Penguins' Arron Asham October 13. He will likely center the fourth line of Matt Hendricks and Mike Knuble:
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Alexander Semin
Marcus Johansson - Jeff Halpern - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Joel Ward
Hendricks - Beagle - Knuble
In other news, Tomas Vokoun will start for the Caps, while Mike Green and Jeff Schultz will not play on the defensive side.