Game Preview: Capitals @ Canucks

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The Capitals continue their four-game, 10-day western Canada road trip on Saturday night as they take on the Canucks in Vancouver. Puck drop is at 10:00 p.m. and will be carried by CSN. 

THE MATCH-UP
The Capitals face the Canucks in the first of two meetings between the teams this season. Last season the Caps won both meetings, with a 3-2 win in Vancouver last October and a 4-1 decision in DC in January. The Capitals lead the all-time series 42-39-9-1. The rsoters for tonight’s game:

capitals-at-canucks

VANCOUVER
The Canucks (4-3-1) started the season off by winning their first four games. They then lost in a shootout to the Kings and suffered their first regulation loss in Anaheim five days ago, 4-2 to the Ducks. The Canucks were also blanked 3-0 by the Senators and lost to the Edmonton Oilers Friday night, 2-0.

Henrik Sedin and Bo Horvat lead the team in goals with three apiece, while Sedin and Brandon Sutter lead the ‘Nucks with five points. Henrik’s twin brother Daniel, along with Markus Granlund, each have two goals.

The goaltenders for the Canucks are Jacob Markstrom (4-3, 1.94 GAA, .923 save percentage) and Ryan Miller (3-1-2, 1.97 GAA, .933 save percentage). Ryan Miller got the start against Edmonton on Friday night, so it’s likely that Jacob Markstrom will get the start against the Capitals.

Injuries: Chris Tanev (undisclosed, day-to-day), Alex Burrows (neck,day-to-day), Derek Dorsett (shoulder, day-to-day), Anton Rodin (knee, day-to-day)

WASHINGTON
Similar to the Canucks, the Capitals (3-2-1) were also one of four teams to start the season without a regulation loss. And just like Vancouver, the Capitals are coming off of two straight losses. The Caps are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Oilers on Wednesday night.

Even keel on the road – The Capitals carry a 1-1-1 record in games away from Verizon Center. Last season, the Capitals posted a 27-10-4 record on the road.

Shake-up – Head coach Barry Trotz reconfigured all of the forward lines at practice on Friday. The Capitals currently site 28th in the league in scoring, with a total of 16 goals. Justin Williams spoke with media about the lines shake-up after practice on Friday.

Shots fired – The Capitals are ranked second in shots per game with 33.5 behind Toronto. The Caps have outshot their opponents this season 201-153.

Goals against – The Capitals are third in the league in goals against per games played with 2.17. It was a drop from first thanks to allowing four goals in each of the last two games, both losses.

Head coach Barry Trotz spoke with the media following practice today:

SHAVINGS

  • Wednesday night’s loss was the first back-to-back losses for the Capitals since the 2014-2015 season.
  • Wednesday night’s game was the first time the Capitals have allowed the other team to score first. Washington struck first in their first five games.
  • Alex Ovechkin scored the only goal for Washington on Wednesday, his fourth straight game lighting the lamp.
  • The Caps continued to struggle on the power play, going 0-for-3 with the man advantage. They have only converted goals twice on 19 opportunities this season.
  • The PK was decent for the Caps as they allowed only one Edmonton goal on four power play opportunities.
  • This was a rough night for Braden Holtby as he allowed all four goals for his second straight loss. He stopped 25 of 29 shots.

GAME LINKS
Game Notes at Vancouver, 10/29/16 (Capitals PR)
Friday’s Caps Links (Japers Rink)

By Michael Marzzacco

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