Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
After defeating the Boston Bruins 3-2 in their fourth shootout of the season on Saturday, the Washington Capitals return home to host the Anaheim Ducks in a Monday night matchup. Puck drop from Capital One Arena is set for just after 7:00 P.M. ET on NBC Sports Washington.
Anaheim steamrolled Washington in the first game of the two-game series last season on December 2. Halfway through the game, the team rallied with five unanswered goals to win 6-5 at Capital One Arena.
Over two months later, the Ducks would win 5-2 at Honda Center, sweeping the Capitals in the season contest between the teams. Despite defeating the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions, Anaheim finished the season with 80 points and 24th in the league.
The Ducks’ stop in the nation’s capital is game two of a four-game road trip. They beat the reigning Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues 4-1 at Enterprise Center on Saturday. Anaheim currently sits fifth in the Pacific Division and 18th in the NHL at 10-9-2 and 22 points. Their road record this season is 4-5-0. The Ducks have a 19-12-5 history versus the Capitals.
Picking up five points in his last five games, forward Jakob Silfverberg leads the Ducks with 17 points and nine goals. Defenseman Hampus Lindholm is the team leader in assists (nine). Center Derek Grant recorded his first career hat trick in the victory over the Blues, which brought him up to eight points (five goals).
Goaltender John Gibson made 37 saves and allowed just one goal in Saturday’s win. He improved to 7-9-0, a .915 Save Percentage, and 2.83 Goals-Against Average. Netminder Ryan Miller has posted a record this season of 3-0-2. He has not started since the 4-3 overtime home loss to the Detriot Red Wings on November 12. Miller has a .919 Save Percentage and 2.61 Goals-Against Average. His history versus the Capitals is 19-14-0.
Anaheim has the second-worst power play efficiency in the league at 9.1%. Their penalty kill is a bit better, ranking them 18th overall with 80.3% efficiency. Center Ryan Getzlaf has picked up two power play goals. Forward Nick Ritchie leads with 20 penalty minutes.
The divison and league-leading Capitals improved to 15-3-4 and 34 points in 22 games played. The team has a 5-2-3 record at home so far this season. Clashing with Anaheim, Washington’s history is 17-18-1.
Defenseman John Carlson continues to stay hot as he has picked up six points in his last five games. He leads the team with 32 points and 24 assists. Captain Alex Ovechkin has scored 14 goals. Jakub Vrana sealed the deal for the Capitals with a Datsyukian shootout move. The top-six forward has 17 points, which include nine goals.
On Saturday, the team assigned defenseman Tyler Lewington back to the AHL’s Hershey Bears along with backup goaltender Ilya Samsonov. This was mostly a move for salary cap reasons.
Forward Travis Boyd scored his first goal of the season after being recalled from the Bears that morning. Forwards Carl Hagelin and Nic Dowd still remain day-to-day with upper-body injuries.
Goaltender Braden Holtby made 21 saves and allowed two goals in the victory over the Bruins. He improved to 10-1-3, with a .904 Save Percentage, and 2.97 Goals-Against Average. Holtby has a 3-4-0 record versus the Ducks.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 17, 2019
In addition to recalling Boyd, Washington also recalled Bears’ goaltender Vitek Vanecek.
On the power play, the Capitals have a 23.3% efficiency, placing them ninth in the league. Washington has the sixth-best penalty kill with an effective 85.7%. Ovechkin has scored six power play goals. Defenseman Radko Gudas leads with 23 penalty minutes.
Capitals game notes are here.
By Della Young
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) November 17, 2019