Photo: Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports
After defeating the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 3-1 on Wednesday, the Washington Capitals wrap up a four-game road trip in Anaheim with a Friday night date with the Amaheim Ducks. Action from Honda Center can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 10:00 P.M. ET.
Washington beat Anaheim 5-2 on November 18 at Capital One Arena in the first of two meetings this season. It was a wild game that included a brawl and a match penalty (spitting) for Capitals’ forward Garnet Hathway, an action for which he would later be suspended three games. As they close out their West Coast leg of the road trip, it would not be surprising if there was some unfinished business between the teams.
With their win in the City of Angels, the Capitals improved to 21-4-5 and ride a five-game win streak. They continue to lead the Metropolitan Division with 47 points and regain first place in the league. On the road, Washington has gone 13-2-1 and has been victorious in this road trip, winning three out of four games thus far.
Defenseman John Carlson hit the 100-goal plateau in Wednesday’s win, scoring two goals in the first period. He has picked up 42 points, including 11 goals. Carlson also tied Al MacInnis (1990-91) and Denis Potvin (1975-76) for the most points by a defenseman in his team’s first 30 games.
Head Coach Todd Reirden is not ruling out center Nicklas Backstrom’s return to the lineup on Friday, but is “not going to have him out there until he’s 100%”.
The #Caps do not practice today so there won’t be an update from the team re: Backstrom’s availability for Friday. Reirden would not rule him out but did say 19 isn’t playing until he’s 100-percent. He also noted that the ANA rematch figures to be a physical one. pic.twitter.com/PxT9Pnv1Sw
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) December 5, 2019
Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 22 saves and allowed only one goal against the Kings. He has gone 7-2-1 in 10 games played, and boasts a Save Percentage of .917 and 2.42 Goals-Against Average.
Goaltender Braden Holtby helped lead the Capitals to victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. In 21 games played, he has gone 14-2-4 and holds a .909 Save Percentage and 2.82 Goals-Against Average.
Rounding out the Top 5, Washington’s special teams are 24.2% effective. Their penalty kill has an 83.5% efficiency, ranking them 12th in the NHL. Ovechkin has scored eight power play goals. Hathaway leads the team with 30 penalty minutes followed by forward Tom Wilson at 29.
The Ducks host the Capitals for the final regular season match between the clubs. After a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings at home on Monday, Anaheim is back in action after some days off and is looking to extend to a two-game win streak. The team sits seventh in the Pacific Division and 25th overall with a record of 12-12-4 and 28 points. At Honda Center, the team has gone 8-5-2.
Center and captain Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks in points (21) and in assists (12). Forward Jakob Silfverberg has scored 10 goals thus far. Getzlaf and Silfverberg picked up an assist and a goal respectively in their team’s victory over the Kings.
Goaltender Ryan Miller made 34 saves and allowed two goals on Monday. This season, he holds a record of 4-1-2, a .906 Save Percentage, and 2.99 Goals-Against Average.
Goaltender John Gibson has not started since the 3-0 fall to the Winnipeg Jets at home on November 29. The Anaheim netminder boasts an 8-11-2 record, a Save Percentage of .910, 2.86 Goals-Against Average, and one shutout.
Anaheim has the third-worst (29th) power play efficiency in the league at 11.3%. Sitting 22nd in the NHL, the Ducks’ penalty kill carries a 77.2% efficiency. Getzlaf and Silfverberg have each recorded two power play goals. Forward Nick Ritchie leads the team with 54 penalty minutes. Defenseman Erik Gudbranson follows with 49 minutes.
By Della Young
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 5, 2019