Photo: Sporting News
After a very tough loss in Pittsburgh on Friday evening, the Washington Capitals are back at home on Sunday afternoon to take on the Vegas Golden Knights. This will be the first ever matchup between the Golden Knights and Capitals in Washington D.C. Can the Capitals get back on the winning track against the current leader of the Pacific Division? Puck drop is at 12:30 PM on NBC Sports Washington.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The NHL’s newest franchise is having an incredible inaugural season. The Golden Knights have 34 wins in their first 51 games, which is an NHL record. Former Capitals and current Golden Knights GM George McPhee did a marvelous job creating this franchise through the recent expansion draft.
The Golden Knights are rolling, and there is no signs of them slowing down. They have been tremendous in front of their home crowd this season. They have already won 19 games on home ice this year. While they have been excellent at home, 10 of their 13 regulation losses have come on the road.
Leading the way for the Golden Knights is forward Jonathan Marchessault. Marchessault, 27, has recorded 48 points in 48 games for the Golden Knights this year. Even though he faced injury earlier this season, former Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is having a special season for the Golden Knights. Fleury has recorded 14 wins, a 1.79 goals against average, and .942 save percentage. Former Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt is making his first return back to Washington since he was claimed during the expansion draft.
The Golden Knights are in the middle of a 6-game road trip. They have gone 2-1 on their road trip. The Golden Knights are coming off a 5-2 loss in Minnesota on Friday evening.
After an even game through 40 minutes, the Penguins pulled away in the third period against the Capitals on Friday night. Alex Ovechkin had a great night for the Capitals, as he recorded 2 goals and 3 points against the Penguins. Ovechkin now has 4 goals and 7 points in his last 5 contests.
The 7-4 loss stings the most for T.J. Oshie. On Saturday morning, Oshie was hit with a $5,000 fine from the NHL Department of Player Safety for a cross-check to Penguins defenseman Kris Letang.
The Capitals will look to get back on the winning track against a tough Golden Knights opponent. The Capitals have won 5 out of their last 10 games, and like the Golden Knights, have won 19 games on home ice.
Caps lines before playing Vegas Golden Knights tomorrow:
Stephenson (rotating on fourth line)
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) February 3, 2018
Philipp Grubauer is expected to get the start against the Golden Knights on Sunday afternoon. Jakub Vrana might find his way back into the lineup, so Chandler Stephenson may be the odd man out.
Here is T.J. Oshie and his thoughts on the NHL Department of Player Safety:
“It’s hard to figure out what you’re going to get fine and suspended for, and what you’re not.” — T.J. Oshie on the $5,000 fine he was assessed for cross checking Kris Letang. pic.twitter.com/zuMtxNYAk3
— Tarik El-Bashir⌨🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) February 3, 2018
A LOOK BACK IN TIME
The Capitals faced the Golden Knights for the first time in Vegas on December 23. The Golden Knights came away with a 3-0 victory.
By: George Foussekis