Vitek Vanecek Gets The Start, Conor Sheary Game Time Decision Against Bruins

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals complete their back-to-back weekend set of afternoon matinees Sunday afternoon when they host the Boston Bruins at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 1:30 PM.

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette met with the media Sunday morning. He confirmed Vitek Vanecek will get the start in goal. Conor Sheary will be a game time decision.

The Capitals announced just before warmups that Nicklas Backstrom would not play today against the Bruins. It was a maintenance day for him.

The Bruins will start Linus Ullmark in goal. David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm are out for the Bruins.

Similar goaltending stats heading into this one: Vitek Vanecek (17-11-0-5, 2.60 GAA, .911 sv%). Linus Ullmark (23-9-0-2, 2.58 GAA, .912 sv%)

Boston Bruins

The Capitals face the Boston Bruins this afternoon for the third and final time this season. The Capitals are 20-8-0 (.714 point percentage) against the Bruins since the start of the 2014-15 season, the most wins in the NHL versus Boston during that span (second, New York Rangers: 15 wins). During that same span, Washington is 10-4-0 vs. Boston at Capital One Arena and have outscored the Bruins 45-33 in those 14 games. Today’s game also concludes Washington’s 11th back-to-back set of the season. The Capitals enter the game with a 5-3-2 record in the second half of back-to-back sets, including a 4-3-1 record when they win the first game.

Gaining Steam

Since March 1, the Capitals are 11-4-1 (.719 points percentage). In that span, the Capitals own the sixth-highest points percentage in the NHL, the fourth-highest in the Eastern Conference (Florida Panthers: 16-2-1, .868 points percentage; Boston Bruins: 13-4-1, .750 points percentage; New York Rangers: 14-5-1, .725 points percentage) and the second-highest in the Metropolitan Division.

The Capitals have converted on 32% of their power play opportunities (16 of 50) and have killed 84.4% of their penalties (38 of 45), ranking third and sixth, respectively in each category since March 1. Washington and the Vancouver Canucks are the only two teams in the NHL to rank in the top-6 in both categories during that span.

Prior to March 1, Washington was tied for 27th in power play percentage (16.4%, 27 of 165) and tied for 14th in penalty kill percentage (80.1%, 121 of 151). 21 of the 25 Capitals skaters who have played since March 1 have recorded a point. Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the team with 19 points during that span (8g, 11a), while Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 12 goals. Seven players have four or more goals since March 1 (Ovechkin: 12g; Kuznetsov: 8g; Tom Wilson and Anthony Mantha: 5g; Dmitry Orlov, Conor Sheary and Martin Fehervary: 4g).

Down On The Farm

Capitals center prospects Bear Hughes and Henrik Rybinski went head-to-head last night in Seattle. Each had a goal and an assist in the game. Henrik Rybinski struck first to stretch Seattle’s lead to 3-0.

Bear Hughes would answer Rybinski’s tally scoring the very next goal in the game.

Both prospects had a goal and an assist in the game.


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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3 Responses to Vitek Vanecek Gets The Start, Conor Sheary Game Time Decision Against Bruins

  1. Lesliej427 says:

    Sure hope this is us getting Red Hot on the way to Playoffs, and that we will continue the streak by winning AT HOME today. GO CAPS!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Big tester today. Bruins have the advantage having not played last night, but we can do this!

  3. novafyre says:

    Vitro Vanecek? Come on Gulitti! You’re as bad as TNT and ESPN calling Dowd Jim.

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