After dropping their last two games at home in D.C., the Washington Capitals are hitting the road for a four-game road trip. The Capitals will be heading West for the first three games on this road trip. On this trip, the Capitals will visit three Central Division clubs, and will finish off with Montreal. The Capitals will look to snap their losing skid against Minnesota on Tuesday evening. Puck drop is 8 PM ET on NBC Sports Washington.
The Wild are in the middle of a tight Central Division race. Winners of three straight, the Wild have won eight out of their last ten games. The Wild are currently sitting in second, behind the Nashville Predators.
A major reason for the Wild’s success is the play of goaltender Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk, 32, is on a roll and has given the Wild excellent play inside the net. In 13 starts, Dubnyk has won 8 games. He has recorded a 2.13 goals against average and .933 save percentage in the early part of the season.
The Wild have a deep blueline, and have some notable blueliners that like to generate offense. Matt Dumba, 24, is a fan favorite in Minnesota. Dumba was taken 7th overall by the Wild in the 2012 NHL Draft. Another name Capitals fans might remember is Ryan Suter. The 33-year old Wisconsin native logs a ton of minutes for the Wild, and Capitals fans will see a lot of him in this matchup.
The Wild have been successful in recent years, as they have made the postseason in six straight years. Former Capitals bench boss Bruce Boudreau is in his third season behind the Wild bench.
The Capitals sputtered last in their five-game home stand, and only recorded two goals in their last two games.
Because of the Capitals lack of offense, Todd Reirden and his coaching staff are changing up the lines and the defensive pairings. For the first time in two years, Matt Niskanen and Dmitry Orlov will not be paired together on the blueline.
On Saturday, asked Niskanen how it’s going on a new D pair with Michal Kempny so far.
“We’re not lighting the league on fire, but we’re not a disaster either.”
Feel like that’s how we’d all describe the Caps as a whole.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) November 12, 2018
What is not helping matters is that the Capitals are still a little banged up. The Capitals recently placed defenseman Brooks Orpik on LTIR, so it appears that Jonas Siegenthaler will be called upon during the Capitals upcoming road trip.
The Capitals need to find some consistency in their game right now, and need the whole lineup to show up. If the players can all gel and work out the kinks, the Capitals should be back on track in no time.
The good news for the Capitals is that Braden Holtby is starting to find his typical groove in the Capitals net. Holtby played well for the Capitals during this recent homestand, and gave them a chance to win every game that they played in. Holtby is looking more comfortable in net, and the Capitals will need big performances from him as they take on some tough venues on this upcoming road trip.
Reirden: “Just like our team, some individuals didn’t play up to the level that we expect.”
— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) November 12, 2018
A LOOK BACK IN TIME
The Capitals and Wild last faced each other in early February. The Capitals were 5-2 winners in Minnesota. Alex Ovechkin hit his 1,100th point in this game.
By: George Foussekis