Washington at Vegas Preview: Capitals Get Desperate Golden Knights In Visit To Vegas

Photo: Vegas Hockey Knight

The Washington Capitals visit the Vegas Golden Knights for the final meeting of the season between the two teams on Wednesday night. The Golden Knights edged the Capitals by a score of 1-0 at Capital One Arena on January 24, despite missing captain Mark Stone, left-wing Max Pacioretty, and center Jack Eichel and have taken all three regular-season games against the Capitals at the Fortress in their history.

Action from T-Mobile Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington in-market or ESPN+ out-of-market beginning at 10 PM ET.

Schedule

The Capitals continue a season-long five-game road trip. After getting blown out by a score of 7-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in their trip opener, they have won the last two, including an impressive 3-2 win at the league-leading Colorado Avalanche on Monday.

The Golden Knights play the middle game of a three-game homestand to close out their home schedule for the regular season. They opened it with a 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Monday.

Records

Capitals: 24-8-5 on road (first in NHL), 8-1-1 in past 10 games and 13-3-1 in their past 17 away from home

Golden Knights: 21-15-3 at home (15th), had won six of seven at T-Mobile Arena before Monday’s loss

How Each Team Is Doing

Capitals: 6-1-0 in their past seven and 15-5-1 (.738 points percentage – third) since losing three straight in regulation from February 24-28

Golden Knights: have lost two straight, four of six (2-3-1) since five-game winning-streak ended, and are 13-15-2 (.467 points percentage – 22nd) since a 4-0 win at the Edmonton Oilers on February 8

Standings

Capitals: Second wild-card in Eastern Conference, fourth in Metropolitan Division with 94 points; third in division with .632 points percentage; one point behind Boston Bruins (both teams will have six games left after Bruins visit the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday) for first wild-card spot and Pittsburgh Penguins (with a game in hand) for third in Metropolitan; clinched eighth consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff berth

Golden Knights: Ninth in Western Conference, fourth in Pacific Division with 87 points; 10th in West with a .565 points percentage; three points behind Los Angeles Kings (with a game in hand after Kings’ game at Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday) for third in Pacific and four behind Nashville Predators (with each team down to five games left after Predators host Calgary Flames on Tuesday) and Dallas Stars (who have a game in hand and visit the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday); in danger of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in their five-year history

Team Leaders

Capitals

Points: LW Alex Ovechkin, 87 (Tied-14th in NHL)
Goals: Ovechkin, 48 (fourth)
Assists: D John Carlson, 53 (T-17th)
Plus-Minus: D Nick Jensen, +33 (T-14th)
TOI-per-game: Carlson, 23:46 per game (22nd)

Additional Notes: Ovechkin, 36, has 19 goals and 29 points in 28 games since the NHL All-Star Break; Carlson, 32, has four goals and 11 points during a seven-game point-streak; Jensen, 31, has a +10 rating in his last six outings; D Dmitry Orlov has two goals, five points, and a +6 rating in his last four; C Lars Eller has three goals and seven points over his past five; C Johan Larsson has a goal and five points during a four-game point-streak and six points in his last six; C Nic Dowd has six points in his last six; LW Anthony Mantha has two goals and seven points in his last five; RW Tom Wilson has nine goals and 18 points in his last 22; C Evgeny Kuznetsov has 32 assists and 47 points over his last 47

Golden Knights

Points: RW Jonathan Marchessault, 64
Goals: Marchessault, 29
Assists: C Chandler Stephenson, 40
Plus-Minus: D Zach Whitecloud, +23
TOI-per-game: D Alex Pietrangelo, 24:42 per game (17th).                             Points-per-game: LW Max Pacioretty: 0.91

Additional Notes: Marchessault, 31, has 10 goals and 34 points in his last 31 games in addition to 12 assists and 16 points in his last 11; Stephenson, 27, has nine assists and 12 points in his last 11; Pacioretty, 33, has just an assist and a -2 rating in his last four; Stone has been held scoreless in five games since returning from a back injury that sidelined him for 27 games; Eichel has 12 goals and 21 points in 29 games with the team but has been held scoreless in his past two; RW Evgenii Dadonov has nine goals and 17 points in his last 18; C Nic Roy has three points (one goal) over his last two; D Shea Theodore has five goals and nine points in his last 10; D Alex Pietrangelo has just an assist in his last six; C William Karlsson has three goals and nine points over his last 10 but none in his past two

Team Stats

The first graphic shows game averages for the Capitals and Golden Knights entering Wednesday. The Golden Knights rank 26th on the power play and 21st on the penalty kill. Despite boasting deep offenses and defenses, they are just above the league average in goals-per-game and there in goals-against per game. 

The second graphic lays out the possession metrics for the Capitals and Golden Knights, who are better in every possession category. The Capitals are better at taking advantage of their opportunities. Ironically, both teams enter Wednesday with the same team save percentage.

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Capitals: Ilya Samsonov, 25
23-10-4 (tied for 19th in NHL)
.898 save percentage
2.97 goals-against average
Three shutouts (tied for 11th)                                                                                           First career start vs. VGK

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner, 30
23-17-2 (tied for 19th)
.907 save percentage (third)
2.83 goals-against average (24th)
One shutout                                                                                                                       3-3-1, .939 save percentage, 1.86 goals-against average, two shutouts in seven career games vs. WSH, including shutouts in each of his past two (34 saves in Golden Knights’ 1-0 win at Capital One Arena on January 24)

Injuries/Illnesses

Capitals

* LW Carl Hagelin (eye, will miss 21st straight game, out indefinitely)

* LW Joe Snively (lower-body, 21st, week-to-week)

Golden Knights

* Pietrangelo (undisclosed, first, status TBD)

* LW William Carrier (lower-body, 10th, indefinite)

* C Brett Howden (upper-body, 11th, indefinite)

* C Nolan Patrick (undisclosed, 11th, indefinite)

* RW Reilly Smith (knee, 20th, week-to-week)

* D Nic Hague (lower-body, 15th, week-to-week)

* G Laurent Brossoit (undisclosed, 11th, indefinite)

Projected Lineups

Capitals

Ovechkin — Kuznetsov — Conor Sheary
Marcus Johansson — Backstrom — T.J. Oshie
Mantha — Lars Eller — Wilson
Larsson — Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

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

Vanecek
Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: McMichael, LW Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, LHD Michal Kempny, LHD Matt Irwin

Golden Knights

Marchessault — Eichel — Stone
Pacioretty — Stephenson — Dadonov
Mattias Janmark — Karlsson — Michael Amadio
Jake Leschyshyn — Roy — Keegan Kolesar

Ben Hutton — Dylan Coghlan
Brayden McNabb — Theodore
Alec Martinez — Whitecloud

Lehner
Logan Thompson

Scratched: None

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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2 Responses to Washington at Vegas Preview: Capitals Get Desperate Golden Knights In Visit To Vegas

  1. Anonymous says:

    Git Er done!

  2. steven says:

    Shame taht we gave them a 2nd line center because the owner and GM dont work the salary cap as well as other teams. Seems taht the Pens, leafs, Bruins adn canes all do a much better job than the caps.

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