Game Preview: Maple Leafs @ Capitals

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The Capitals continue their three-game homestand on Tuesday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town. The Caps come into the game riding a two-game winning streak, looking to continue their momentum. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM. 

TORONTO
The Maple Leafs are coming off an exciting 5-4 overtime win over the Red Wings in the Centennial Classic, before a crowd of 40,148 at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto on Sunday. Auston Matthews scored 1:20 into the extra session after Detroit tied the game with 11 seconds left in regulation.

The Maple Leafs carry a 17-12-7 record with 41 points, putting them fourth in the Wild Card chase, and fourth place in the Atlantic Division. Matthews leads the team in goals (20) and points (32). Mitch Marner leads in assists with 18.

Frederik Anderson is expected to start in goal for the Maple Leafs. He carries a 16-8-6 record with a 2.95 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.

There are five Maple Leafs battling injuries. Nathan Horton has been dealing with a degenerative spine issue, while Joffrey Lupul was deemed unfit to play before the season started. Stephane Robidas continues to deal with a knee injury that sidelined him all of last year. In December, Martin Marincin was placed on injured reserve with a lower body injury, while Ben Smith opted to have surgery on his hand and has been placed on injured reserve. Marincin’s injury will likely require four to six weeks of recovery.

Shots Fired:
The Leafs are tied for second in the league with 33.8 shots per game. However, they were outshot by the Red Wings on Sunday 37-28. The Leafs are 28th in shots allowed per game with 32.8.

Special Teams:
The Leafs are 12th in the league in the power play with a 19.6% conversion rate. On the penalty kill, Toronto is ranked sixth with an 85.2% success rate, for a combined special teams index of 104.8.

WASHINGTON
The Capitals are coming off a 2-1 win over the Senators on New Years Day. Karl Alzner and Taylor Chorney provided the tallies.

Alex Ovechkin leads the team in scoring with 17 goals. Nicklas Backstrom leads in assists and points with 21 and 30 respectively. Expect to see Braden Holtby get the start in goal for Washington. He carries a 16-8-4 record, a 1.98 GAA and a .929 save percentage.

Special Teams:
captureThe Capitals are ranked 18th in the league in the power play with a 16.7% conversion rate. The power play percentage has been in steady decline since game 30 versus Montreal (December 17th).

Thanks to killing off 29 straight power plays, the Capitals penalty kill leapfrogged to second in the league in the PK with a staggering 87.3% success rate.

The combined special teams index has also climbed to 104, the highest index value for the season.

Shots Fired:
The Capitals are ninth in the league in shots per game with 30.6 but have outshot their opponents over the last three games 98-74. The Caps are yielding the sixth fewest shots per game with an average of 28 per game.

Other Notes:
The Capitals are tied for first in the NHL in goals-against per game (2.06) and second in five-on-five goals against (48).

METROPOLITAN DIVISION STANDINGS

standings

THE MATCHUP
Tuesday is the second of three games between the Capitals and Maple Leafs this season. The Leafs won the first meeting on Nov. 26 in Toronto 4-2. The third and final meeting will take place on April 4th in Toronto. The Caps carry a 69-54-10-6 all-time record vs. the Maple Leafs and a 44-21-4-2 record at home when against Toronto.

Series Flashback:

SHAVINGS

  • Nicklas Backstrom sits two assists shy of 500 career assists.
  • Alex Ovechkin is six points shy of 1,000 career points.

GAME STORIES
Game Notes vs. Toronto, 1/3/17

By Michael Marzzacco

"The Great Wall Of China Town". The @Capitals penalty kill is on 🔥🔥🔥.

A post shared by NoVa Caps (@nova_caps) on

About Michael Marzzacco

Michael is an avid DC sports fan with a passion for writing. He has followed the Washington Capitals since the 2003-04 season, around the time his enthusiasm for DC teams really began. It was from the days when they had the worst record in the league to when they became the most exciting team in the area. His Dad took him to his first Caps game a couple of years later. One of his favorite memories was being in the stands during the 2015 Winter Classic where Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with 12 seconds left. Michael graduated from Radford University in May 2016, earning a degree in journalism and focusing on sports journalism and broadcasting. His goal is to work in sports media in Washington, D.C.
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2 Responses to Game Preview: Maple Leafs @ Capitals

  1. Joel E. Smith says:

    You may want to correct your stats. Holtby has a GAA of 1.98, not 2.30

    Like

  2. Pingback: Capitals Daily Report: No Schmidt? | NoVa Caps

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