Game Preview: Bruins @ Capitals

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It was a hectic month of January for the Washington Capitals.  The Capitals played 15 games in those 31 days of January, and beat many quality opponents along the way.  The Capitals received a heavy dose of potential playoff opponents in January, and came out with an impressive 12-2-1 record.

February picks up right where January left off for the Capitals.  The Capitals are set to play 6 games in 11 nights, and will then take their official “bye week”.  To kick off February, the Capitals have a Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Boston Bruins.  Puck drop is at 8 PM on NBC Sports Network.

BOSTON

The Bruins are hanging on for dear life in the Atlantic Division.  It is a dog fight between the Bruins, Senators, Maple Leafs, and Panthers for the 2nd and 3rd seeds in the division.

With the Bruins trying to find consistency, Claude Julien’s name has been mentioned on the coaching hot seat in recent weeks.  It appears that Boston management is willing to remain patient, and may try to make a trade before they do anything with Claude Julien.

While the Bruins are underachieving, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask are having excellent seasons.  Marchand, 28, has recorded 21 goals and 51 points in 53 games.  Rask is having a Vezina Trophy caliber season.  In 42 games, Rask has recorded 25 wins, and has a 2.17 goals against average and .917 save percentage.

The Bruins are coming off a 4-3 win in Tampa Bay last night.  They are currently riding a 3-game win streak.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Bruins powerplay has been average this season.  The Bruins powerplay is 17.7% effective, which is ranked 17th best in the NHL.

The penalty kill has been a bright spot for the Bruins.  The Bruins penalty kill is 86.8% effective, which is ranked 2nd best in the NHL.

SHOTS FOR AND SHOTS AGAINST

The Bruins are at the top of the NHL forcing shots against their opponents.  They average 34.4 shots per game.

The Bruins are one of the stingiest teams in the NHL when giving up shots against.  They give up just 26.5 shots against per game, which is the second fewest in the NHL.

WASHINGTON

The Capitals came out of the All-Star break a little flat.  They played about 20 minutes of good hockey against the Islanders on Tuesday night, but could not generate much against Thomas Greiss.  They dropped the game 3-2 at Barclays Center.

It was good that the Capitals were able to get defenseman John Carlson back into the lineup against the Islanders.  He finished with 20:42 of icetime.  Evgeny Kuznetsov has had the hottest stick for the Capitals in recent games.  In the last 5 games, he has 4 goals and 7 points.

Braden Holtby is expected to get the start in net against Boston.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Capitals powerplay has improved a bit over the past few weeks.  The Capitals powerplay is 20.5% effective, which is ranked 13th best in the NHL.

The Capitals penalty kill has been excellent this season, but not in their past few games.  The Capitals penalty kill is 84.7% effective, which is ranked 4th best in the NHL.

SHOTS FOR AND SHOTS AGAINST

The Capitals are in the middle of the pack in the NHL forcing shots.  They average 29.8 shots per game, which is ranked 15th best in the NHL.

Like the Bruins, the Capitals are another stingy team when giving up shots against.  They give up just 28.2 shots against per game, which is ranked 7th fewest in the NHL.

METROPOLITAN DIVISION STANDINGS

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THE MATCHUP

This is the second of three meetings between the Bruins and Capitals this season.  In their first meeting on December 7, the Capitals claimed a 4-3 overtime victory after they blew an early 3-0 lead.  Their final meeting will take place on April 8 in Boston.

SERIES REWIND

SHAVINGS

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
This entry was posted in Games, News, NHL and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Game Preview: Bruins @ Capitals

  1. Pingback: Capitals Daily Report: Optional Skate, Bruins Prep, and Kuzy Gets Recognized | NoVa Caps

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