BALLSTON, Va. - Defenseman Tomas Kundratek will make his NHL debut Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Caps recalled Kundratek from AHL Hershey late Sunday night; he was acquired in a trade from the New York Rangers November 8 in exchange for forward Francois Bouchard. To make room for Kundratek, the team placed Nicklas Backstrom on injured reserve, though he can be activated at any time.
"I like to do everything," Kundratek said when asked to describe his style of play. "I like to hit, I like to play good defense and I like to score."
Kundratek will be paired with fellow Czech countryman Roman Hamrlik, who he watched growing up.
"I've been watching that guy since I was young," he said. "It's unreal. It'll be huge experience and I'm really looking forward [to it]."
Meanwhile, fellow Czech Tomas Vokoun will start for Washington Wednesday. It will be his seventh consecutive start despite being pulled during Monday's 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.after allowing four goals on 27 shots.
John Erskine and Jeff Schultz will be the defensive scratches. Mike Green did not skate Wednesday after leaving during the second period of Saturday's 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Hunter, however, said that he does not believe Green's current setback will be a long-term issue and that it is more of an issue of building up strength in the groin that cost him 23 consecutive games.