The Golden Knights’ five-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, who handed Vegas a 2-1 loss Saturday night. But Vegas will look to get back in the win column with the Washington Capitals in town for the first time since Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
This will close out the season series between these two clubs after the Caps took the first matchup with a 5-2 victory Oct. 10.
Marc-Andre Fleury is coming off back-to-back shutouts on home ice and will need to bring his best tonight to slow down a Capitals team that is averaging 3.62 goals per game.
Nicklas Backstrom leads the Caps in points with 33; he has been red-hot of late, scoring six goals and 13 points in his last eight games. He enters tonight’s tilt on a three-game point streak during which he has potted four goals and eight points.
Alex Ovechkin leads the team in goals with 19 strikes on the season, though the third member of the top line, Tom Wilson, has been doing plenty of scoring in recent games. Since returning from a 16-game suspension, Wilson has notched at least a point in nine out of 10 games, and he has seven goals and 13 points throughout his current eight-game point streak, which includes goals in six straight contests.
That being said, the Capitals are coming off a disappointing game in which they blew a 5-1 lead and lost 6-5 to the Ducks, though they are still first in the Metropolitan Division with a 15-8-3 record. While Washington’s power play is technically ranked sixth overall in the NHL this season, it has really struggled since the start of the season.
For the Knights, William Karlsson has goals in four straight games and will look to extend that scoring streak against Braden Holtby and the Caps. He is now tied with Jonathan Marchessault for the team lead in points with 21.
Max Pacioretty, who saw his seven-game point streak snapped in Edmonton, is listed as a game-time decision for tonight’s game. UPDATE: Pacioretty will NOT play tonight; Oscar Lindberg will step in to replace him.
Assuming Pacioretty plays, here are the projected lineups for both clubs:
Marchessault — Karlsson — Smith
Lindberg — Eakin — Tuch
Nosek — Carpenter — Carr
Carrier — Bellemare — Reaves
McNabb — Schmidt
Theodore — Engelland
Holden — Miller
Ovechkin (#8) — Backstrom (#19) — Wilson (#43)
Vrana (#13) — Kuznetsov (#92) — Connolly (#10)
Burakovsky (#65) — Eller (#20) — Smith-Pelly (#25)
Stephenson (#18) — Dowd (#26) — Jaskin (#23)
Kempny (#6) — Carlson (#74)
Orlov (#9) — Niskanen (#2)
Djoos (#29) — Bowey (#22)