Washington at Vancouver Preview: Capitals Clash With Canucks In West Canada Trip Finale

Photo by Derek Cain/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals visit the Vancouver Canucks for the final meeting of the season between the two teams. The Canucks took the first game by a score of 4-2 at Capital One Arena on January 16 but the Capitals have won two straight and four of their last five visits to the Pacific Northwest. Action from Rogers Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington+ in-market or ESPN+ out-of-market beginning at 10 PM ET.


The Capitals wrap up their three-game Western Canada trip (which they are 1-0-1 on so far after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday) and continue a stretch where they play five of six away from home.

The Canucks continue a seven-game homestand (tied for the longest of the season) after opening it with a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.


Capitals: 17-7-5 on road (fourth in NHL), lost three of their last four (1-2-1) on the road after going 14-3-4 in their previous 21

Canucks: 13-10-3 at home (22nd), won five of their last seven, including past three at Rogers Arena

How Each Team Is Doing

Capitals: four-game point-streak (3-0-1) after three straight regulation losses and starting the new year 8-12-2

Canucks: three-game winning-streak, have won nine of their last 12 and are 21-8-4 (fifth) since former Capitals’ head coach Bruce Boudreau took over on December 5


Capitals: Second wild-card in Eastern Conference, fourth in Metropolitan Division with 72 points and .610 points percentage, respectively; one point behind Boston Bruins (who have two games in hand) and five behind New York Rangers (two) and Pittsburgh Penguins (one) for second in Metropolitan Division

Canucks: fifth in Pacific Division and 11th in Western Conference with 64 points and .552 points percentage, respectively; three points behind Dallas Stars (two) for second wild-card spot and four behind Vegas Golden Knights (with each team having played 58 games) for final divisional spot in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Team Leaders


Points: LW Alex Ovechkin, 70 (eighth in NHL)
Goals: Ovechkin, 36 (fourth)
Assists: C Evgeny Kuznetsov, 38 (tied-22nd)
Plus-Minus: D Nick Jensen, +26 (tied-13th)
TOI-per-game: D John Carlson, 23:49 per game (23rd)

Additional Notes: Ovechkin, 36, had a four-game point-streak (where he tallied four goals, seven points) end in Wednesday’s overtime loss; Kuznetsov has a goal and four points during a four-game point-streak; Carlson has seven assists in his last five games and leads the Capitals in assists (13) and points (15) in the last 15 games; Jensen has four assists in his last three games; RW Tom Wilson has three goals and five points in his last five games; LW Conor Sheary had his four-game point-streak (four goals, six points) end in Edmonton; C Nicklas Backstrom has a goal and four points during a three-game point-streak and six points in his last six; C Lars Eller has gone scoreless in 10 straight games and a -5 rating in the last two


Points: C J.T. Miller, 67 (tied-ninth)
Goals: Miller, 23
Assists: Miller, 44 (tied-ninth)
Plus-Minus: D Tyler Myers, +12
TOI-per-game: D Quinn Hughes, 25:07 per game (tied-14th)

Miller, 28, has seven goals and 21 points over a 10-game point-streak (including four assists and six points in his last two) and is tied for seventh in the NHL with 32 assists and ranks eighth with 48 points in 35 games since November 28; Hughes, 22, has four helpers over a three-game assist-streak and is tied for 14th with 45 assists this season; C Elias Pettersson has 12 goals and 24 points over his last 22 and three points (including one goal) in his last two; C Bo Horvat has one goal and six points over a four-game point-streak and four goals and nine points in his last seven; RW Brock Boeser has two goals and four points over a three-game point-streak; LW Tanner Pearson has five goals and nine points in his last eight

Team Stats

The first graphic shows the possession metrics for the Capitals and Canucks entering Friday’s game. The Capitals best the Canucks in every possession metric except team save percentage and expected goals-against compared to goals-against.

The final graphic shows special teams and game averages entering Tuesday. The Canucks rank dead last on the penalty kill and it has not improved drastically (77.1% – 20th) under Boudreau.

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Capitals: Vitek Vanecek, 26
.919 save percentage (12th in NHL)
2.32 goals-against average (seventh)
Three shutouts (tied for sixth)

8-4-0, .930 save percentage (13th), 2.12 goals-against average (11th since December 16                                                                                                                     First career start vs. VAN

Canucks: Thatcher Demko, 26
.917 save percentage
2.64 goals-against average
One shutout

31 saves (.939 save percentage) in Canucks’ 4-2 win on January 16, his first career start vs. WSH



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

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


* C Jason Dickinson (undisclosed, fifth, day-to-day)


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

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

Ilya Samsonov

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


Pearson — Miller — Boeser
Nils Hoglander — Pettersson — Conor Garland
Vasily Podkolzin — Horvat — Alex Chiasson
Matthew Highmore — Juho Lammikok — Tyler Motte

Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Myers
Hughes — Luke Schenn
Brad Hunt — Travis Hamonic

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: RW Sheldon Rempal, RHD Madison Bowey

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 Vancouver Preview: Capitals Clash With Canucks In West Canada Trip Finale

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’d really like to see Sprong in for McMichael for a few games

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Somewhat surprised that didn’t occur in Edmonton game, because of back-to-backs, get some fresh legs in there. Laviolette sticks to what he believes are his best players and rarely cycles in players to keep them interested and active. See Jonas Siegenthaler.

Leave a Reply