The Capitals will have a decidedly Nashville-less look tonight when they take on the Habs at the Bell Centre.
That’s because the club’s Predators contingent — Martin Erat and Joel Ward — is all banged up.
(Though, as astutely pointed out in the comments section, Caps blueliner Jack Hillen did play 55 games for Nashville last year.)
Erat is still feeling the effects of an Erik Gudbranson hit on Saturday — though the club says it’s not a concussion — and Ward is out after blocking a Sami Salo shot in Sunday’s 4-2 win over Tampa Bay.
Ward and Erat were teammates in Nashville for four years before Ward signed with Washington as a free agent in 2011.
After a disappointing first season with the Caps, Ward’s rebounded nicely to post 8G-12A-20PTS in 39 games this year, sitting fifth on the team in scoring.
Erat, acquired at the NHL trade deadline in exchange for prospect Filip Forsberg, has only appeared in two games for the Caps, and one of those was cut short due to the aforementioned Gudbranson hit.
In other Caps-related news, the club will give Michal Neuvirth his second straight start on Tuesday. He stopped 28 of 30 shots in Sunday’s win over the Bolts and will start consecutive games for the first time since mid-March.