After some lengthy home cooking over the last couple of weeks, the Washington Capitals are trying to string some wins together during the holiday season. After a hard fought 4-3 victory over Columbus on Saturday night, the Capitals current 5-game home stand continues as they face the San Jose Sharks on Monday night. Puck drop is at 7 PM ET on NBC Sports Washington.
SAN JOSE SHARKS
The Sharks are finishing up a 4-game road trip out East. They won their first two games of the trip in Philadelphia and Florida, but lost 5-2 to Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
The Sharks have been looking for some consistency. They have won 5 out of their last 10 games. Entering Monday, the Sharks have recorded a 14-9-2 record, which ranks them 3rd in the Pacific Division. Their road record is not bad, as they have a 7-3-1 record there.
Defensemen Brent Burns and veteran forward Joe Thornton are a pair of bearded players who get it done for the San Jose Sharks. Burns, 32, won the Norris Trophy last season as the NHL’s top defenseman. He recorded 29 goals and 76 points for the Sharks last season. While Burns had a great season last year, he only has 1 goal and 12 points so far in 2017-18. Thornton, 38, has 16 points this season and over 1,400 points in his NHL career.
While the Capitals won 4-3 on Saturday night, there were points in the game where they seemed to let Columbus back into the game. The Capitals were sloppy at various moments, and it resulted them giving the puck away 24 times. The Capitals sloppiness led to a 35-23 shot advantage for Columbus in the game, including a 17-3 advantage for the Jackets in the 3rd period.
It is good that the Capitals received some goals from their depth forward lines, as Brett Connolly and Alex Chiasson got on the board for the Capitals against Columbus Saturday evening.
Chandler Stephenson was injured against Columbus, and is considered day-to-day. On Sunday, the Capitals recalled forward Travis Boyd from Hershey. It is possible he could see some game action if Stephenson is out for some time.
The Caps have recalled Travis Boyd. Probably not good news for Chandler Stephenson, who’s day-to-day with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Boyd has never played in an NHL game.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) December 3, 2017
Entering Monday, the Capitals are in the second wild card spot as they have a 15-11-1 record.
-Evgeny Kuznetsov leads all Capitals skaters with 29 points. He has 3 goals in his last 2 games, and 6 points in his last 5 games.
-Logan Couture leads all Sharks skaters with 13 goals and 21 points.
-San Jose is in the third seed in the Pacific Division with 30 points. They are 3 points behind Vegas, and 7 points behind leader Los Angeles.
-Washington is in the 5th seed in the Metropolitan Division with 31 points. They are behind New York Islanders, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, and leader Columbus. Only 4 points separates Washington from Columbus.
A LOOK BACK IN TIME
The San Jose Sharks blanked the Capitals last year in Washington 3-0.
By: George Foussekis