The Capitals have hit game 2 of their three game Western Canada road trip. Thursday, they visit Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia to take on the Canucks, who are searching for their first win at home this season.
The Capitals and Canucks met twice in 2014-15 and the Canucks won both meetings. The Canucks won the first meeting last October 4-2 in Vancouver, and won the second meeting last December in Washington 4-3. Brooks Laich does not score that often for the Capitals, but he scored one of the prettiest goals against the Canucks last season:
This is the first of two meetings between the Capitals and Canucks in 2015-16. The Canucks will visit Verizon Center on January 14.
SIZING UP THE OPPONENT: VANCOUVER CANUCKS
The Canucks are a team that is in a transition period right now. They are trying to get younger and quicker as a team, but they are still trying to stay competitive and in the playoff picture.
At 35 years of age, Henrik and Daniel Sedin are still the leaders and top players for the Canucks. The Sedins are still some of the NHL’s best magicians with the puck, and they can make the puck disappear with their fantastic chemistry.
An injection of youth has hit the Canucks lineup in a short amount of time. This year, the Canucks have three rookies in their lineup (which has not happened in over a decade). Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann are two of those rookies and they were both 2014 1st round choices for the Canucks. Their third rookie is a 22-year old defenseman named Ben Hutton, who is a 2012 5th round pick of the Canucks.
The Canucks have a familiar Capitals foe in net as former Sabres netminder Ryan Miller guards the pipes for them. Miller is off to a hot start for the Canucks, as he has registered a 1.80 goals against average and .935 save percentage in his first six games.
WAVE TO THE GOOD GUYS: WASHINGTON CAPITALS
The Capitals started off their Western Canada road trip on a high note as they defeated the Calgary Flames 6-2 on Tuesday night.
Alex Ovechkin tallied his 4th goal of the season and 900th career point against the Flames. Nicklas Backstrom tallied two goals in the game that continues his goal scoring streak.
The Capitals are rolling as three of their four lines are contributing goals and the powerplay remains hot.
After the Capitals visit the Canucks on Thursday night, they will play the Oilers on Friday night to close out this short road trip.
Washington Capitals: 4-1; 8 pts; 3rd in Metropolitan Division
Vancouver Canucks: 3-1-2; 8 pts; 2nd in Pacific Division
Thursday, October 22, 2015 – CSN-DC; SN360; 10 PM ET
Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Justin Williams
Jason Chimera – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson
Brooks Laich – Chandler Stephenson – Andre Burakovsky
Brooks Orpik – John Carlson
Karl Alzner – Matt Niskanen
Dmitry Orlov – Taylor Chorney
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Brandon Sutter
Sven Baertschi – Bo Horvat – Jake Virtanen
Alex Burrows – Jared McCann – Radim Vrbata
Brandon Prust – Adam Cracknell – Jannik Hansen
Alexander Edler – Christopher Tanev
Dan Hamhuis – Matt Bartkowski
Luca Sbisa – Ben Hutton
Capitals – Evgeny Kuznetsov: “Kuzya” had a fantastic game against the Flames on Tuesday night. He registered three assists and was a hound on the puck all night. He has 5 points in 5 games and has played very well on the Capitals top line with Alex Ovechkin and TJ Oshie.
Canucks – Bo Horvat: The 20-year old London, Ontario native is the Canucks 2013 1st round pick. He was the 1st round pick the Canucks used in the trade that sent goaltender Cory Schneider to New Jersey. Horvat is currently the Canucks second line center, and he is do-it-all guy for the Canucks. He is excellent in the faceoff dot, and he can kill penalties well too. He played his junior hockey for the London Knights under former Capitals coach and player Dale Hunter.
By George Foussekis