Washington at Calgary Preview: Capitals Look To Build Off Of Homestand Against Red-Hot Flames

Photo: NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals visit the Calgary Flames for the first time since October 22, 2019 on Tuesday. The Flames took the only other meeting between the two teams this season by a score of 4-3 in overtime on October 23 but the Capitals are 5-1-0 in their last six visits to Calgary, including a 5-3 win in their last trip out west.

Action from the Scotiabank Saddledome can be seen on NBC Sports Washington in-market or ESPN+ out-of-market beginning at 9 PM ET.

Schedule

The Capitals begin their three-game West Canada road trip and a stretch where they will play five of their next six on the road.

The Flames play the second-half of a back-to-back after a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers at the Saddledome, which opened a four-game homestand. They are in the midst of a stretch where they play 21 of 25 at home, which they are 11-1-1 in so far.

Records

Capitals: 16-7-4 on road (ninth in NHL), lost two straight on the road after going 14-3-4 in their previous 21

Flames: 16-4-5 at home (ninth), 12-0-1 in last 13 at the Sattledome

How Each Team Is Doing

Capitals: two straight wins by a combined score of 9-2 after three straight regulation losses and starting the new year 8-12-2

Flames: league-best 17-3-1 (.833 points percentage) since January 18

Standings

Capitals: Second wild-card in Eastern Conference, fourth in Metropolitan Division with 69 points and .605 points percentage, respectively; four points behind Boston Bruins and eight behind New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins for second in Metropolitan Division (all have played 57 games but the Rangers, who have a game in hand)

Flames: first in Pacific Division and second in Western Conference with 75 points and .682 points percentage, respectively (behind Colorado Avalanche: 87, .763); Four points ahead of Los Angeles Kings for first in division with three games in hand; Sixth in NHL in points percentage

Team Leaders

Capitals

Points: LW Alex Ovechkin, 68 (eighth in NHL)
Goals: Ovechkin, 34 (fourth)
Assists: C Evgeny Kuznetsov, 36 (tied-24th)
Plus-Minus: D Nick Jensen, +25 (16th)
TOI-per-game: D John Carlson, 23:48 per game (23rd)

Additional Notes: Ovechkin, 36, has five goals and 10 points in his last nine games and has two goals and five points during a three-game point-streak (including a three-point game in the Capitals’ 5-2 win over the Seattle Kraken on Saturday); Ovechkin and C Nicklas Backstrom will play in their 1,00th NHL game together on Tuesday; Carlson has five assists during a three-game assist-streak; RW Tom Wilson has three goals and four points in his last three games; LW Conor Sheary has three goals and five points during a three-game point-streak (including two goals vs. Kraken); D Dmitry Orlov has recorded goals in back-to-back games and has a +3 rating over that span

Flames

Points: LW Johnny Gaudreau, 73 (fourth)
Goals:LW Andrew Mangiapane, 29 (tied-ninth)
Assists: Gaudreau, 50 (tied-second)
Plus-Minus: RW Elias Lindholm, +43 (second)
TOI-per-game: D Rasmus Andersson, 22:23 per game

Additional Notes: Gaudreau, 28, has three goals during a three-game goal-scoring streak, nine points during a five-game point-streak, and 40 assists and 59 points in his last 43 games; LW Matthew Tkachuk has four assists in his last two games in addition to 13 assists and 20 points over his last 13; Lindholm and four goals and nine points during a five-game point-streak and 20 goals and 44 points in his last 42; Mangiapane has 11 goals and 20 points in his last 18; C Sean Monahan has gone six straight games without a point and has just one goal and three points in his last 18; RW Tyler Toffoli has seven goals and 10 points in 10 games since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens on February 14; Flames have two of the top-three in plus-minus (Gaudreau, +42) and five of the top-13 (Tkachuk, +35; D Chris Tanev/D Oliver Kylington, +27)

Team Stats

The first graphic shows the possession metrics for the Capitals and Flames entering Tuesday’s game. The Flames are higher than the Capitals in every possession metric but the Capitals are slightly better at shooting and the two teams are close in terms of save percentage.

The final graphic shows special teams and game averages entering Tuesday. The Flames rank second in shots-per-game (behind the Florida Panthers: 36.9) and both teams rank among the top-six in shots-against. The Flames are also second in goals-against (Carolina Hurricanes: 2.39 per game), sixth in goals, and fourth on the penalty kill.

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Flames: Dan Vladar, 24
8-3-1
.904 save percentage
2.87 goals-against average
Two shutouts

1-1-0, .810 save percentage, 5.39 goals-against average in two career games vs. WSH, including 22 saves in Flames’ 4-3 win in Washington earlier this season

Capitals: Vitek Vanecek, 26
12-7-5
.921 save percentage (tied for ninth in NHL)
2.25 goals-against average (sixth)
Three shutouts (tied for sixth)

7-4-0, .935 save percentage, 1.96 goals-against average since December 16. Pulled in first career start vs. CGY after allowing three goals on 13 shots through one period on 10/22

Injuries/Illnesses

Capitals

* LW Carl Hagelin (eye, will miss third straight game, out indefinitely)

* LW Joe Snively (lower-body, third, week-to-week)

Flames

None

Projected Lineups

Capitals

Ovechkin — Kuznetsov — Wilson
Anthony Mantha — Backstrom — T.J. Oshie
Connor McMichael — Lars Eller — Axel Jonsson-Fjallby
Conor Sheary — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Martin Fehervary — Carlson
Dmitry Orlov — Jensen
Trevor Van Riemsdyk — Justin Schultz

Vanecek
Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: LHD Matt Irwin, LHD Michal Kempny, RW Daniel Sprong

Flames

Gaudreau — Lindholm — Tkachuk
Blake Coleman — Mikael Backlund — Trevor Lewis
Mangiapane — Adam Ruzicka — Toffoli
Milan Lucic — Monahan — Dillon Dube

Noah Hanifin — Andersson
Kylington — Tanev
Nikita Zadorov — Erik Gudbranson

Vladar
Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: C Brad Richardson, RW Nick Ritchie, RHD Michael Stone

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
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3 Responses to Washington at Calgary Preview: Capitals Look To Build Off Of Homestand Against Red-Hot Flames

  1. will says:

    I’m not getting the bench Sprong and continue to let CMCplay. I don’t think I’ve seen CMC win a board battle and is not producing points. Sprong isn’t any less of a liability in the d zone but does put up more points and has been showing more effort on the backcheck his last few games.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      From what we’ve understood from Laviolette, he feels CMC is much less a liability in the defensive zone. Sprong has had that issue his entire career so far, why he was traded twice. He needs to figure it out, for his sake as much as the Capitals.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tough test, good thing we get Vladar.

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