Preview: Capitals Mingle With Minnesota On Tuesday

Photo by John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals will meet the Minnesota Wild for the first of two get togethers this season between the teams. Minnesota swept Washington in last season’s set, including a 5-1 victory in the District on April 3, and has won three of their last four (3-1-0) against them since 2019. Action from Capital One Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington in-market or ESPN+ out-of-market starting at 7 PM ET.

SCHEDULE

Minnesota: open four-game road trip through the Southeast, had past two days off

Washington: start stretch where they play four straight games vs. Western Conference teams, play just one of two home games in span of eight total before NHL All-Star Break, end set of back-to-backs after 4-3 overtime win at New York Islanders on Monday night

RECORDS

Minnesota: 24-14-4/.619 points percentage – third in Central Division, sixth in Western Conference (but fifth in points percentage); 11-6-3 on road, 11th in NHL

Washington: 24-16-6/.587 points percentage – fourth in Metropolitan Division, seventh in Eastern Conference; 13-7-3 on road, seventh

HOW EACH TEAM IS DOING

Minnesota: 12-3-1 in past 16 games, lead Western Conference with 17-6-2 record (.720 points percentage – tied for third with Tampa Bay Lightning) since November 16

Washington: bounced back from back-to-back losses to the Philadelphia Flyers and three regulation losses in their previous four on Monday, when they trailed 3-0 halfway through the game

TEAM LEADERS

Minnesota

  • LW Kirill Kaprizov (25 goals, 27 assists, 52 points)
  • RW Mats Zuccarello (26 assists, 44 points)
  • D Jonas Brodin (22:13 average TOI/game)

Notes: Minnesota has five players averaging more than 20 minutes per game this season (Brodin, D Matt Dumba – 21:13, D Jared Spurgeon – 21:06, Kaprizov – 20:43, Zuccarello – 20:10); Kaprizov, 25, has two goals, four points over three-game point-streak; Zuccarello, 35, has two goals, four points over three-game point-streak and 19 assists, 32 points in last 28; Spurgeon, 33, has -3 rating over five-game scoring drought; Dumba, 28, has +3 rating over four-game scoring drought; C Joel Eriksson Ek has 10 goals, 23 points in last 26; LW Matt Boldy is on five-game scoring drought, has been held off scoresheet seven times in last eight games (two assists); C Sam Steel has 12 assists, 15 points in last 16, including one goal, four points over three-game point-streak; LW Ryan Hartman, who set career-highs in goals (34), assists (31), and points (65) in 82 games last season, has just five goals, 13 points in 21 games in 2022-23, including just one assist in his last four

Washington

Notes: Ovechkin, 37, has just one goal, two points in last five, both of which came in last two games; Kuznetsov, 30, ended his four-game scoring drought with an assist in Long Island; C Dylan Strome has gone scoreless in five of his last six (three assists); LW Conor Sheary has just one assist in last six and no points in his last four; LW Marcus Johansson has just one goal, two points in his last seven; LW Sonny Milano ended a three-game scoring drought with an assist vs. New York; C Lars Eller, who was scratched on Monday, has gone scoreless in his last six; RW T.J. Oshie has two goals, three points in last three after tallying a goal, an assist vs. New York; RW Tom Wilson put up his first point, a goal, in four games this season on Monday; RW Garnet Hathaway has two goals in his last three and four goals, six points in his last nine; D Erik Gustafsson has seven goals, 16 points in last 14 (tied for third among NHL defensemen with Vince Dunn of the Seattle Kraken), including an assist vs. New York

KEY TEAM STATS

Goals-per-game:                 MIN – 3.12 (18th)          WSH – 3.22 (13th)

Goals-against per game:   MIN – 2.76 (T-9th)        WSH – 2.76 (T-9th)

Power Play:                          MIN – 23.1% (13th)       WSH – 21.3% (17th)

Penalty Kill:                         MIN – 79.4% (15th)      WSH – 80.8% (10th)

Shots-per-game:                 MIN – 31.4 (18th)         WSH – 31.6 (16th)

Shots-against per game:   MIN – 29.8 (9th)           WSH – 30.4 (10th)

Faceoff-winning %:           MIN – 47.4% (26th)      WSH – 49.9% (17th)

5v5 Corsi-for %:                 MIN – 50.56% (16th)    WSH – 51.1% (14th)

5v5 x Goals-For %:            MIN – 51.22% (15th)     WSH – 51.11% (16th)

5v5 SCF %:                          MIN – 50.56% (16th)    WSH – 51.09% (15th)

5v5 Shooting %:                 MIN – 8.05% (22nd)     WSH – 8.49% (15th)

5v5 Save %:                         MIN – .9239 (8th)         WSH – .9222 (11th)

5v5 PDO:                             MIN – 1.004 (11th)        WSH – 1.007 (10th)

EXPECTED STARTING GOALTENDERS

Minnesota: Filip Gustavsson, 24 — 10-6-1, .925 save percentage, 2.17 goals-against average (15th in NHL), one shutout in 17 games this season; 15 saves on 18 shots (.800 save percentage) in Ottawa Senators’ 7-5 loss vs. Washington on October 25, 2021, the lone appearence in his NHL career he has made against them (a relief one)

Washington: Charlie Lindgren, 29 — 11-5-2, .912 save percentage, 2.60 goals-against average (15th in NHL) in 19 games this season; 32 saves on 34 shots (.941 save percentage) in Montreal Canadiens’ 3-0 loss vs. Minnesota on November 9, 2017, the lone start in his NHL career made against them

INJURIES/ILLNESSES

Minnesota

  • N/A

Washington

  • D John Carlson (upper-body, will miss 11th straight game, out indefinitely)
  • RW Connor Brown (ACL, 43rd, indefinite)
  • LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 47th, indefinite)
  • C Nic Dowd (lower-body, first, status unknown)

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Minnesota

Kaprizov — Steel — Zuccarello
Boldy — Frederick Gaudreau  — Hartman
Marcus Foligno — Eriksson Ek — Jordan Greenway
Brandon Duhaime — Connor Dewar — Ryan Reaves

Jacob Middleton — Spurgeon
Brodin — Dumba
Jon Merrill — Calen Addison

Gustavsson
Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: C Mason Shaw, D Alex Goligoski

Washington

Ovechkin — Strome — Sheary
Anthony Mantha — Kuznetsov — Oshie
Sonny Milano — Nicklas Backstrom — Wilson
Johansson — Eller — Hathaway

Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Martin Fehervary

Lindgren
Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: RW Nicolas Aube-Kubel, D Alexander Alexeyev

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.

4 Responses to Preview: Capitals Mingle With Minnesota On Tuesday

  1. hockeydruid says:

    Going to be a great test tonight! Lets just hope that Eller can handle the 4th line responsibilities as well as Dowd did.

  2. Harrison Brown says:

    Teams have similar stats in all areas. Looking forward to this one!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Minny has to be the biggest team in the league. Willy gets his beak wet tonight, tussling with Reavo.

Leave a Reply