The Capitals made their way north of the border Wednesday afternoon for their second road trip to Canada in the last eight days. The team held an optional morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre this morning, and will do battle with the Senators tonight. Puck drop is set for 7PM.
LINES AND PAIRS
With Evgeny Kuznetsov (suspension) and Connor Brown (lower body injury) out of the lineup for tonight, the forward lines and defensive pairs for tonight’s game will most likely resemble the lines from Wednesday’s practice:
Alex Ovechkin — Lars Eller — Conor Sheary
Aliaksei Protas — Dylan Strome — T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson — Connor McMichael — Anthony Mantha
Joe Snively — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway
Martin Fehervary — John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Extras: Matt Irwin, Beck Malenstyn
Darcy Kuemper is expected to make his fourth start of the season tonight against the Senators.
BATTLE OF THE NATION’S CAPITALS
The Washington Capitals visit the Ottawa Senators for the first of three meetings between the two teams this season. The Capitals took two of three games against them last season, including a 7-5 win on October 25 in their lone visit to the nation’s capital up north, and are 17-2-1 vs. Ottawa since 2014-15. (Game Preview)
|Goals-per-game:||3.25 (18th)||3.33 (T-16th)|
|Goals-against per game:||3.25 (18th)||4.00 (T-24th)|
|Power Play:||21.4% (T-15th)||12.5% (T-22nd)|
|Penalty Kill:||70% (25th)||77.8% (19th)|
|Shots-per-game:||30 (20th)||31.7 (T-17th)|
|Shots-against per game:||30.3 (13th)||34 (T-20th)|
|Faceoff-winning %:||43.9% (24th)||51.7% (16th)|
|5v5 Corsi-for Percentage:||50.98% (16th)||47.62% (22nd)|
|5v5 x Goals-For %:||48.74% (19th)||50.9% (13th)|
|5v5 SCF Percentage:||48.55% (20th)||52.82% (13th)|
|5v5 Shooting Percentage:||11.36% (eighth)||9.64% (13th)|
|5v5 Save Percentage:||.9032 (22nd)||.9091 (17th)|
|5v5 PDO:||1.017 (17th)||1.005 (16th)|
Conor Sheary scored a goal vs. the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, his second-straight game with a goal and his third goal in four games this season. Through four games, Sheary leads the Capitals in goals, with all three coming at five-on-five.
OVI THREADS THE NEEDLE FOR SHEARY AND WE HAVE THE LEADDDDDDDD pic.twitter.com/ptKOtDV6fG
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) October 18, 2022
Last season, 14 of Sheary’s 19 goals were scored during five-on-five play, which ranked tied for second on the team (Alex Ovechkin: 24; Tom Wilson: 14). Since joining the Capitals ahead of the 2020-21 season, Sheary ranks third on Washington in goals (36) and second in goals at five-on-five (29).
DAILY STAT – EXPECTED GOALS
Last week and during the run-up to the start of the season we discussed at length the advanced stat “expected goals” and the overall values of the stat. (Definition here). The following graph plots the current expected goals differential for all Capitals skaters after four games. [Click to enlarge].
As Justin detailed yesterday (here) the fourth line continues to struggle. Is it the absence of Carl Hagelin? Are they just getting off to a slow start? Or are they still trying to find the perfect replacement for Hagelin? We will continue to track over the course of the season.
By Jon Sorensen