Preview: Capitals Head Back On The Road To Toronto

Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals meet up with the Toronto Maple Leafs for second time north of the border and final game between the two teams this season on Sunday. Washington snapped Toronto’s four-game winning streak head-to-head (Washington: 0-3-1, which included a 3-2 loss in Ontario’s capital on October 13) with a 5-2 win at Capital One Arena on December 17. Action from Scotiabank Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington locally or NHL Network nationally starting at 5 PM ET.


Washington: continue stretch where they play six of their last eight (3-3-0 so far), including their final two, on the road before NHL All-Star Break

Toronto: continue season-long five-game homestand (2-1-0) and stretch where they play seven of eight (4-1-1) at Scotiabank Arena before All-Star Break


Washington: 26-19-6/.569 points percentage – fourth in Metropolitan Division (fifth in points percentage), seventh in Eastern Conference (ninth); 12-11-3 on road, 16th in NHL (have won nine of last 12 away from home)

Toronto: 30-12-8/.680 points percentage – second in Atlantic Division, tied for third in Eastern Conference ; 19-4-4 at home (second)


Washington: 3-2 shootout win over Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday ended stretch where they lost five of their previous eight in regulation after season-long nine-game point-streak (7-0-2) ended

Toronto: 6-2 loss to Ottawa Senators on Friday snapped five-game point-streak (4-0-1)



Notes: Ovechkin has three goals, six points in last six games; Kuznetsov, 30, has five assists in his last six; Orlov, 31, has a goal, five points in his last six; C Dylan Strome has three goals, five points in his last six after going scoreless in five of his previous six; LW Conor Sheary has just one goal, one assist in last 11; C Lars Eller has gone scoreless in his last 11; LW Anthony Mantha has just one assist in his last six; LW Marcus Johansson has two goals in his last three; D Erik Gustafsson has just two assists in his last eight, including one in his last five


  • RW William Nylander (27 goals, 58 points)
  • RW Mitch Marner (40 assists, 58 points)
  • D Morgan Reilly (22:42 TOI/game)

Notes: Nylander, 26, has five goals, 11 points over six-game point-streak; Marner, 25, has 15 assists, 21 points in last 18; Reilly, 28, and LW Pierre Engvall, LW Michael Bunting have all gone scoreless in four straight; C John Tavares has three assists, four points during three-game point-streak; D Mark Giordano has gone scoreless in two straight after recording two goals, four points over four-game point-streak; D Justin Holl has three assists in his last three


Goals-per-game:                 WSH – 3.14 (16th)           TOR – 3.36 (9th)

Goals-against per game:   WSH – 2.78 (10th)           TOR – 2.68 (7th)

Power Play:                          WSH – 20.5% (20th)       TOR – 24.4% (8th)

Penalty Kill:                         WSH – 81.8% (7th)          TOR – 79.4% (16th)

Shots-per-game:                 WSH – 32 (T-14th)           TOR – 31.9 (T-16th)

Shots-against per game:   WSH – 30.1 (10th)            TOR – 28.8 (5th)

Faceoff-winning %:            WSH – 49.7% (18th)        TOR – 52.6% (T-6th)

5v5 Corsi-for %:                  WSH – 51.27% (13th)       TOR – 51.59% (12th)

5v5 x Goals-For %:             WSH – 51.8% (14th)         TOR – 53.89% (5th)

5v5 SCF %:                           WSH – 51.58% (15th)       TOR – 53.99% (4th)

5v5 Shooting %:                  WSH – 8.29% (17th)         TOR – 8.89% (T-7th)

5v5 Save %:                          WSH – .9185 (14th)          TOR – .9234 (11th)

5v5 PDO:                              WSH – 1.001 (T-15th)      TOR – 1.012 (7th)


Washington: Darcy Kuemper, 32 — 15-11-3 (T-16th in wins), .917 save percentage (T-12th), 2.54 goals-against average (12th), five shutouts (first) in 33 games this season; 3-2-0, .909 save percentage, 2.50 goals-against average, one shutout in seven career games vs. Toronto

Toronto: Ilya Samsonov, 26 — 16-5-2, .916 save percentage, 2.37 goals-against average, two shutouts in 23 games; 1-1-0, .870 save percentage, 3.50 goals-against average in two games vs. former team this season



  • Carlson (upper-body, will miss 16th straight game, out indefinitely)
  • RW Connor Brown (ACL, 48th, indefinite)
  • LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 52nd, indefinite)
  • C Nic Dowd (lower-body, sixth, indefinite)
  • RW Tom Wilson (lower-body, second, day-to-day)


  • C Auston Matthews (knee sprain, second, week-to-week)
  • D Jake Muzzin (cervical spine, 46th, indefinite)
  • D T.J. Brodie (rib, 11th, indefinite)
  • C Nick Robertson (shoulder, 23rd, season)
  • G Matt Murray (undisclosed, second, status unknown)



Ovechkin – Strome – T.J. Oshie
Sheary – Kuznetsov – Mantha
Sonny Milano – Nicklas Backstrom – Johansson
Nicolas Aube-Kubel – Eller – Garnet Hathaway

Gustafsson – Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Orlov – Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin – Martin Fehervary

Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: D Alexander Alexeyev, C Aliaksei Protas


Bunting — Tavares — Marner
Calle Jarnkrok — Pontus Holmberg — Nylander
Bobby McMann — David Kampf — Engvall
Zach Aston-Reese — Alexander Kerfoot — Joey Anderson

Rielly — Holl
Giordano — Timothy Liljegren
Rasmus Sandin — Connor Timmins

Erik Kallgren

Scratched: RW Wayne Simmonds, D T.J. Brodie, D Jordie Benn

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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