The Washington Capitals face the Dallas Stars today for the second and final time this season. The Capitals won the first matchup, 5-0, on Jan. 28 at American Airlines Center behind a 29-save performance by Vitek Vanecek.
Capitals bench boss Peter Laviolette met with the media this afternoon. He did not have updates on the status of T.J. Oshie, Nic Dowd and Trevor van Riemsdyk.
Regarding Oshie, Dowd and van Riemsdyk, Laviolette gave his “working through some things” reply and added that included something that popped up this morning
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) March 20, 2022
Lars Eller has returned from his quarantine in Vancouver, skated at MedStar yesterday and is available tonight.
Ahead of Capitals-Stars tonight: Lars Eller is back from Vancouver and will be available tonight, per Laviolette.
— Roman Stubbs (@romanstubbs) March 20, 2022
The Capitals recalled Brett Leason from Hershey and re-assigned Mike Vecchione to Hershey Sunday morning.
Washington has earned points in seven straight games against Dallas, dating back to Dec. 19, 2017 (4-0-3). Alex Ovechkin has registered 16 points (10g, 6a) in 21 career games against Dallas and has earned a point in seven of his last 12 games (6g, 5a) while Nicklas Backstrom has recorded 22 points (6g, 16a) in 19 career games against the Stars, including 18 points in his last 13 games (6g, 12a). With a point in today’s game versus Dallas, the Capitals will set a new season-high nine game point streak.
With a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes Friday night, Evgeny Kuznetsov extended his point streak to eight games (6g, 5a). That’s tied for the longest point streak by a Capital this season (Alex Ovechkin: eight games from Oct. 13-29, 9g, 6a) and equals his personal career high (accomplished twice previously, most recently Nov. 30 to Dec. 15, 2018, 10a). Kuznetsov, who has 10 points (4g, 6a) in 13 career games against Dallas, ranks second on the team in goals (21) and points (61) and tied for first in assists (40).
Kuznetsov’s 1.02 points per game rate this season (61 points in 60 games) is the second highest of his career, only behind his 1.05 rate during the 2017-18 season, when he set career highs in goals (27) and points (83). The Capitals hold a 28-10-4 record when Kuznetsov records a point this season, good for a .707 points percentage.
Puck drop for tonight’s Capitals-Stars game is set for 5:00 PM.
By Jon Sorensen