Game Preview: Wild @ Capitals

The Capitals return home Tuesday night to host the Minnesota Wild at Verizon Center. The Caps will be looking to right the ship and end their current four-game losing streak. Puck drop is a much more reasonable 7:00 p.m. 

MINNESOTA
The Minnesota Wild (43-18-6) still hold the best record in the Western Conference, and 4th best record in the league, behind Washington, Pittsburgh and Columbus.

The Wild made their way to Washington on Sunday night, following their 4-2 loss to the Blackhawks in Chicago, beating the Caps to D.C. by a day. Former Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau and the Wild held practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Monday.

Injury Report:

Special Teams:
The Wild are 8th in the league in power plays with a 21.1% conversion rate. Minnesota’s penalty kill is also doing well, currently ranked 6th in the league (tied with the Capitals) with and 84.0 success rate.

Shots Fired:
Minnesota is currently 10th in the league in shot attempts, with an average of 30.7 shots per game. The Wild are giving up the 12th most shots per game, with an average of 30.9 shots per game.

METROPOLITAN DIVISION STANDINGS

WASHINGTON
With 14 games remaining on the regular season schedule, the time is now for the Caps to begin finding their stride. The Pittsburgh Penguins caught the Caps in the Metro standings last night with an overtime loss to the Calgary flames. Both teams have a league-best 95 points.

The Capitals will be looking to end their current four-game losing streak, their longest since the 2014-2015 season.  For the first time in 17 years, The Capitals came home empty-handed from a three-game trip against the league’s trio of California teams.

Newly acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will sit out the second game of his two-game suspension Tuesday night. Barry Trotz returned to more traditional line combinations at Tuesday’s morning skate.

Special Teams:
The Capitals special teams have been cooling down a bit as of late. The Capitals power play remains 7th in the league with a 21.3% conversion rate.

The Capitals penalty kill is currently ranked 7th in the league with an 84.0 success rate (tied with the Wild).

Shots Fired:
The Capitals remain in the bottom third of the league in shot attempts per game, currently ranked 23rd in the league with a 29.6 shot attempts per game average. On the flip side, the Caps are yielding the 4th fewest shots per game, with an average of 27.7 shots per game.

THE MATCHUP
This is the first meeting between the two teams this season. The two teams have been on a collision course since early December, as Minnesota and Washington have help the best records in the NHL for  significant portion of the season.

Series Flashback:
we are replacing the traditional “Series Flashback” video for classic Gabby, just because. (NSFW). Ear muffs.

GAME LINKS:
Caps Back Home to Host Wild (Mike Vogel)
Game 69: Minnesota Wild at Washington Capitals, March 14th (Peerless)

By Jon Sorensen

Kevin Shattenkirk suspended for two games. Info on or site.

A post shared by NoVa Caps (@nova_caps) on

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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