Despite scoring in the Washington Capitals‘ 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Monday, his first game since December 31, center Travis Boyd will come out of the lineup against the Nashville Predators (7:30 PM ET, NBCSN) with captain Alex Ovechkin returning from a one-game suspension for skipping the NHL All-Star festivities in St. Louis last weekend.
The Capitals’ lineup went back to their combinations from before their bye-week.
Goaltender Braden Holtby will get the net against the Predators after snapping a three-game regulation losing streak where he allowed 11 goals against the Canadiens on Monday, when he made 31 saves including 14 in the third period.
— Hannah 🇺🇸🏒⚾️ (@hhannah43) January 29, 2020
Ilya Samsonov will start against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) January 29, 2020
It was reported a few months ago that the Capitals and St. Louis Blues were looking to play a Global Series in Russia next season but Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman reported that it won’t happen until 2021-22. Captain Alex Ovechkin’s contract expires after next season.
The Predators, who visit the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night, did not hold a morning skate on Wednesday.
Goaltender Juuse Saros will start for the Predators against the Capitals.
Center Colton Sissons (ankle), who is on injured reserve and has missed the Predators’ past 10 games, won’t return against the Capitals but head coach John Hynes said he could return tomorrow against the Devils or Saturday against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Capitals’ Lines vs. Predators
Capitals expected lines vs Nashville:
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) January 29, 2020
If you haven’t seen Nicklas Backstrom’s “Beyond Hockey”, which was released yesterday, give it a watch, it’s well worth it.
- Jakub Vrana, who has three points (1g, 2a) in five career games against Nashville, has eight goals in his last nine games and is currently on a nine-game point streak dating back to Jan. 3 (8g, 3a).
- Vrana is tied with Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson for the longest point streak by a Capital this season (both from Oct. 8 through Oct. 24).
- At his current pace (0.46 goals per game), Vrana is on pace to score 37 goals this season, which would be the most by a Capitals player other than Ovechkin since T.J. Oshie scored 33 goals in the 2016-17 season.
- This season, 22 of Vrana’s 23 goals have come at even strength, which is tied for third in the NHL, only trailing Auston Matthews (26) and Ovechkin (23). Excluding Vrana, all other NHL players who have at least 20 even strength goals this season were nominated for the All-Star Game (Matthews, Ovechkin, David Pastrnak, MacKinnon, Jack Eichel, Artemi Panarin).
By Harrison Brown
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 29, 2020