Game Preview: Sharks @ Capitals

san-jose-sharks-washington-capitals

Tuesday night we will find out which direction our country is going in. Oh and there’s a hockey game too. While many people will be tuning in to find out who will take over the White House in Washington D.C., several blocks down from there the Capitals host the defending Western Conference champion Sharks in their third and final game of the homestand. Puck drop is at 7 and you can catch the game on CSN. 

THE MATCH-UP

The Caps are looking for a much better outing against San Jose. When the Sharks last came to DC over a year ago, they blanked the Capitals 5-0. The Sharks also beat the Caps 5-2 in California, sweeping the season series. The Capitals are 11-22-1-3 all-time against the Sharks.

SAN JOSE

The Sharks made the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in their franchise history this past June before falling to Pittsburgh in seven games. The Sharks enter Tuesday’s game with an even 6-6-0 record with 12 points, third place in the Pacific Division. Speaking of Pittsburgh, they hosted the Penguins on Saturday night but got shutout 5-0. The Sharks have dropped each of their last three contests. Joe Pavelski leads San Jose with four goals, eight assists, and 12 points.

WASHINGTON

The Caps carry a 7-2-1 record and are coming off a 4-2 win over the Panthers on Saturday night. T.J. Oshie scored two goals in the victory.

The wild wild west –  The Capitals are 5-1-0 against Western Conference teams this season and have won four straight games against that conference entering tomorrow night’s game. Marcus Johansson is first among Eastern Conference skaters this season in points against the West this year with five goals and four assists.

Solve the power play – The Caps went 0-for-4 with the man advantage on Saturday night. This season the Caps are a staggering 5-for-35 on the power play with a 14.29 power play percentage. These low numbers have the Capitals ranked 22nd in the league after finishing fifth last year.

Going streaking – The Caps have won five in a row and look to get their sixth straight win tomorrow night. This streak started after a rough 4-1 loss in Edmonton. With the five game winning streak the Caps are now sitting in third place of the Metropolitan Division just a point behind Pittsburgh.

Line shakeups – In practice yesterday, Trotz mixed up the lines. The changes were relatively the same to the way they were in the latter part of Saturday’s win. T.J. Oshie got moved to the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom while Justin Williams was placed with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson on the second line. Meanwhile, Tom Wilson returned to the third line with Lars Eller and Andre Burakovsky. While tomorrow’s lineup isn’t out it will be interesting to see if these lines will be the same during morning skate.

SHAVINGS

  • Saturday night’s win was Washington’s fifth in a row.
  • Alex Ovechkin earned two points in the win on Saturday with a goal and assist. He now sits 23 points shy of 1,000 career points. When he reaches 1,000 points, he would become the 37th player in NHL history to record 1,000 points with one team.
  • Oshie’s two goals marked the second time he had a multi-goal game this season. It was also his 12th career multi-goal game.
  • Saturday’s game was only the second time this season where the Caps didn’t score first. The previous time came in Edmonton on Oct. 26.
  • Braden Holtby stopped 22 of 24 shots for a .917 save percentage. The win over Florida improved his record to 9-6-2.
  • Nate Schmidt had an assist on Ovechkin’s game tying-goal and Oshie’s game-winner.
  • The fans will vote tomorrow night and decide which bobblehead will be given out on March 21. Their choices are either Braden Holtby, Tom Wilson or Justin Williams.

GAME LINKS
Game Notes (Caps PR)
Caps Shoot for Six vs. Sharks on Tuesday (Mike Vogel)

By Michael Marzzacco

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