Game Preview: Capitals @ Stars


After a big win in St. Louis on Thursday, which saw the Caps paste seven goals on the Blues, Washington continues their road trip with their dads tonight in Dallas, as they take on the Stars. Puck drop is at 8 PM eastern on CSN +. 

The Stars (19-20-8) have struggled this season, after a 50-win season last year. This is their first game back at home following a three-game road trip, in which they went 1-2. Their lone win came at MSG on Tuesday night in a wild 7-6 win over the Rangers – just 24 hours after that crazy 8-7 Caps-Pens game in Pittsburgh.

Johnny Oduya suffered an ankle injury in that game that put him on injured reserve. He will be out until mid-February.

The Stars are 16th in shots per game with 29.9 and 17th in shots allowed with 30.3 per game. Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in points (44) and assists (28) and is tied with Patrick Eaves with 16 goals.

Kari Lehtonen will get the start tonight in goal for the Stars. Head coach Lindy Ruff also confirmed that Curtis McKenzie and Brett Ritchie are both in tonight.

Lauri Korpikoski is one of the scratches for tonight’s game.

Special Teams
The Stars are tied for 18th in the league in the power play department with a conversion rate of 17.1%. Dallas is 29th in the league in the penalty kill with a 75.2% success rate.

The Capitals (30-9-6) are coming off a 7-3 win over the Blues in St. Louis on Thursday night. In their past 11 games, the Capitals have outscored their opponents 54-22 and everybody from the lineup has chipped in. Washington is first in the Metropolitan Division with 66 points, two points ahead of second place Columbus.

The Capitals defense continues to dominate, allowing the fifth fewest shots per game (27.9) while leading the league in goals-against average (2.07). The Caps are 14th in shots per game with 30.

Philipp Grubauer will start tonight after Braden Holtby got the start Thursday. Coach Trotz has a policy of getting all players into at least one game during the mentors trip. NoVa Caps approves of this policy.

Special Teams
Washington is near the middle of the pack in the man-advantage with a power play conversion rate of 19.1%, good for 14th in the NHL. The Capitals defense continues to be one of the best in the league in the PK department. The Capitals are third on the PK with success rate of 86.1%.

John Carlson will not play tonight in Dallas.

Tonight is the first of two meetings between the Capitals and Stars this season. They will meet again in DC on March 6. Washington is seeking their first win over Dallas since Oct. 25, 2008. In that game, Sergei Fedorov set the Russian goal-scoring record and Matt Niskanen was with the Stars. Ovechkin passed Fedorov’s record against the Star in their first meeting last season. The Caps’ have not won a regulation game in Dallas since Oct. 17, 1995.

Series Flashback:

Game Links:
Caps Spend Saturday Night in Dallas (Mike Vogel)
Game Notes at Dallas, 1/21/17 (Capitals PR)

By Michael Marzzacco

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