Caps' Game 2 Lineup Changes

It appears as though Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau will be juggling his lineup a bit for tonight's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals aganinst the Montreal Canadiens.

Perhaps looking for a spark or maybe a little more offense up and down the lineup or maybe some veteran leadership in the dressing room, Boudreau appears to be leaning toward dressing versatile veteran center Brendan Morrison and playing him on the second line at center instead of Tomas Fleischmann. Fleischmann will be returned to his customary left wing position, most likely on the third line. Ah, the luxury of what baseball manager Earl Weaver used to call "deep depth."

The question is, who sits? Apparently the odd man out will be Boyd Gordon, who along with David Steckel and Matt Bradley has given the Caps one of the most respected fourth lines in the league much of the past three seasons. Bradley and Steckel have contributed huge goals for the Caps in past playoffs, and Gordon has been struggling with a back injury for much of the season, so that seems logical.

Morrison has spent time on both the second and third lines this season and has seen a good amount of power play time on both the first and second units. Although his offensive production has tailed off in the second half of the season, he is a crafty and creative player. Don't be surprised to see him on the Caps' power play if the unit continues to struggle as it has recently, going 0 for its last 11 and 4 for its last 26.

Based on the morning skate, it appears as though the lineup will shake out like this:


Also moved down from the third line are Belanger and Chimera, who played very well early Thursday. It appears as though Boudreau wants to spread the wealth both offensively and defensivey among all four lines. With this approach it would make sense that he plans on rolling four lines in regular shifts all night.

The defensive parings and goaltending situation should remain the same: