Washington at Dallas Preview: Capitals Take A Trip To Texas To See Holtby And The Stars For The First Time Since October 2019

Photo: Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals visit the Dallas Stars on Friday night for the first meeting between the two teams since October 12, 2019. The Capitals have earned points in six straight games against the Stars (3-0-3) and seven of their eight (4-1-3), including a 4-1 win in their last visit to the “Big D.” Action from American Airlines Center can be seen on NBC Sports Washington in-market or ESPN+ out-of-market beginning at 9 PM ET.

Schedule

The Capitals take a quick trip down to Dallas before taking three days off and then visiting the Pittsburgh Penguins. They will play just three games in the next six days prior to the 2022 NHL All-Star Break.

The Stars start a season-long six-game homestand on Saturday and will play three of them before the All-Star Break.

Records

Capitals: 11-5-4 on the road (seventh) but lost three of last four (1-2-1) away from Capital One Arena

Stars: 14-4-1 at home (tied for eighth), won five straight and 13 of their previous 14 at American Airlines Center before losing to the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 5-3 in their last home game on January 18

How Each Team Is Doing

Capitals: lost past two games at home while scoring just once over that time, 3-6-2 in their last 11 games

Stars: have won four straight but three of them have come against the Buffalo Sabres (entered Thursday 28th in NHL standings), Philadelphia Flyers (27th), and New Jersey Devils (26th) while the other opponent entered the day under .500 (Detroit Red Wings, .488)

Standings

Capitals: first wild-card in Eastern Conference/fourth in Metropolitan Division with 55 points; eighth in Eastern Conference in points percentage (.625); three points behind Carolina Hurricanes (who have five games in hand) for third in Metropolitan Division, four behind Penguins (two) for second, and five behind New York Rangers (one) for first

Stars: tied with Calgary Flames, who have two games in hand, for final wild-card spot in Western Conference with 46 points; seventh in Western Conference in points percentage (.575); seven points behind Minnesota Wild (two) for fourth in Central Division

Team Leaders

Capitals

Points: LW Alex Ovechkin, 58
Goals: Ovechkin, 29
Assists: Ovechkin, 29
Plus-Minus: D Nick Jensen, +20
TOI-per-game: D John Carlson, 23:45

Additional Notes: Ovechkin, 36, and C Evgeny Kuznetsov have each been held scoreless in back-to-back games (just the third time this season Ovechkin has gone two games without a point) after each of their seven-game point-streaks ended in a 1-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday; Carlson, 32, is currently on a six-game point-drought; RW Tom Wilson and LW Conor Sheary each have three-game point-droughts; C Nicklas Backstrom has two goals and four points in his past four and has tallied a point in eight of his 11 games this season

Stars

Points: C Joe Pavelski, 48
Goals: Pavelski/C Roope Hintz, 19
Assists: Pavelski, 29
Plus-Minus: Hintz, +15
TOI-per-game: D Miro Heiskanen, 24:43
Points-per-game: LW Jason Robertson, 1.22

Additional Notes: Pavelski, 37, has four goals and 13 points during a six-game point-streak, including a two-goal and four-point performance in Tuesday’s 5-1 win at the New Jersey Devils and leads the NHL with 27 points in 14 games since December 16 (including 17 assists, second in NHL behind Florida Panthers LW Jonathan Huberdeau over that time: 20); Hintz, 25, ranks 18th with 35 points in 28 games and tied for fourth with Ovechkin and two others with 19 goals over that time. He has earned a goal and an assist in each of his past four outings and has four goals and nine points during a five-game point-streak; Robertson, a 22-year-old who finished second in Calder Trophy voting as the league’s rookie of the season last year, has 15 goals and 37 points in his past 28 games and three goals and seven points over a four-game point-streak; Heiskanen, 22, has three assists in his last three after a four-game point drought ended; D John Klingberg has five assists in his past three games but has gone without a point in six of his last eight; C Tyler Seguin has gone scoreless in 12 of his last 17 games but has three goals and six points in his last five; LW Jamie Benn has a 10-game point-drought and has just four goals and eight points in his past 24; RW Alexander Radulov has just one goal and 14 points in 34 games this season but two assists in his past two games

Team Stats

The first graphic shows the possession metrics for the Capitals and Stars entering Friday’s game. The teams have the same save percentage but the Capitals top the Stars in most other areas. [Click to enlarge]

The final graphic shows the possession metrics for the Capitals and Stars. The Capitals once again hold most of the advantages except for the power play but the Stars have the second-best power-play in the NHL.

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Capitals: Vitek Vanecek, 26
9-6-5
.912 save percentage
2.47 goals-against average (14th in NHL)                                                              First career start vs. Stars
Sixth in past eight games

Stars: Braden Holtby, 32

9-8-1
.917 save percentage (tied for 16th)
2.47 goals-against average                                                                                           First career start vs. Capitals, who he went went 282-122-46 with a .916 save percentage, a 2.53 goals-against average, and 35 shutouts in 468 career regular-season games with from 2010-2020 (93rd overall pick in 2008 NHL Draft).                                                                                                                                   Sixth start in past eight games

Won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender in 2016, when he tied Martin Brodeur’s wins in a single season (48) record and was a finalist again in 2017, with the Capitals

In 97 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Capitals, Holtby went 50-46 with a .926 save percentage, a 2.13 goals-against average, and seven shutouts, including 16-7 with a .922 save percentage, a 2.16 goals-against average, and two shutouts after sitting for the first five periods of the team’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2018

Injuries/Illnesses

Capitals

* Jensen (upper-body, fourth, week-to-week)

* LW Anthony Mantha (shoulder, 34th, indefinite)

* RW TJ Oshie (upper-body, seventh, day-to-day)

Stars

* LW Michael Raffl (lower-body, third week-to-week)

Projected Lineups

Capitals

Ovechkin — Kuznetsov — Wilson

Sheary — Backstrom — Daniel Sprong

Aliaksei Protas — Lars Eller — Garnet Hathaway

Carl Hagelin — Nic Dowd — Brett Leason

Martin Fehervary — Carlson

Dmitry Orlov — Justin Schultz

Michal Kempny — Trevor Van Riemsdyk

Vanecek

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: LHD Dennis Cholowski, LHD Matt Irwin, C Connor McMichael

Stars

Robertson — Hintz — Pavelski
Benn — Seguin — Denis Gurianov
Joel Kiviranta – Radek Faksa — Radulov
Tanner Kero —Jacob Peterson — Luke Glendening

Ryan Suter — Heiskanen
Esa Lindell — Klingberg
Andrej Sekera — Jani Hakanpaa

Holtby

Jake Oettinger

Scratched: C Riley Damiani, LHD Joel Hanley

Game Notes

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Washington at Dallas Preview: Capitals Take A Trip To Texas To See Holtby And The Stars For The First Time Since October 2019

  1. Leslie says:

    Oshie on our Injured/Illness list??

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tough task again tonight. Need to find “it” very quickly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.