Game Preview: Capitals @ Maple Leafs

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After two straight wins versus Atlantic Division foes Ottawa and Tampa Bay, the Capitals hit the road for a quick trip to Toronto on Saturday evening.  The Capitals are hoping to string some wins together as December approaches.  Puck drop is at 7 PM on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

The Maple Leafs are rolling.  They have won 7 out of their last 10 games.  They are coming off a wild 5-4 road win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, where they exploded for 4 goals in the second period.  Goaltender Frederik Andersen gave the Leafs a strong outing in Raleigh, as he made 43 stops in the game.

The Maple Leafs are getting balanced scoring in their lineup.  They have 3 players that have recorded over 10 goals – Auston Matthews, Nazem Kadri, and James van Riemsdyk.  With dynamic young players like Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner, and William Nylander in their lineup, the Leafs play with a lot of speed and finesse.

Since the Maple Leafs gave Frederik Andersen the start in Raleigh on Friday night, expect the Capitals to face Curtis McElhinney on Saturday.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

The Capitals gave the Lightning all they could handle on Friday night.  The Capitals dominated in every statistic on the night.  They outshot the Lightning 38-26 in the game, and dominated the Lightning in the faceoff dot with 69% efficiency.  The Capitals blocked 25 Lightning shots, and held Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov to just 2 shots in the game.  Philipp Grubauer had an excellent performance against the Lightning, as he recorded 25 saves in the game, and recorded his first win on the season.

Barry Trotz’s shakeup of the lines seems to be paying off for the Capitals.  Alex Ovechkin recorded his 15th goal of the season against the Lightning off a beautiful feed from Tom Wilson.  Ovechkin had a strong game against the Lightning, as he recorded 9 shots in the game.

It was an excellent defensive game for the Capitals against Tampa.  John Carlson had a strong defensive game on Friday night, as he recorded 8 blocked shots against a potent Lightning club.

Since the Capitals are starting to find their groove, expect minor (if any) lineup changes versus the Maple Leafs.  Braden Holtby is likely the starter versus the Maple Leafs.

SKATE SHAVINGS

-Toronto is 2nd in the Atlantic Division behind Tampa Bay, with 31 points.  They are 3 points behind the Lightning for the lead in the divsion.

-Washington is 4th in the Metropolitan Division behind Columbus, New Jersey, and New York (Islanders).  They are 4 points behind Columbus for the lead in the division.

-Auston Matthews leads all Maple Leafs skaters with 22 points.

-Evgeny Kuznetsov leads all Capitals skaters with 26 points.

A LOOK BACK IN TIME

Toronto native Tom Wilson scored the game-winning playoff goal in Game 1 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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.
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One Response to Game Preview: Capitals @ Maple Leafs

  1. Pingback: After Two Games, the Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom Line Reunion Might Be Spark Capitals Needed | NoVa Caps

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