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Capitals Game Day

Capitals vs. Stars: Tale of the Tape, Lines, Players To Watch

The Washington Capitals return home with a five-game winning streak for a tough showdown with the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars. Here’s everything to know before puck drop, from lines to the full tale of the tape.



WASHINGTON — Thursday's tilt between the Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars is lining up to have a little bit of everything, as both red-hot teams face off with history and a big two points on the line.

Here is everything to know ahead of puck drop.

Dallas Stars vs. Washington Capitals: Tale of the Tape

The Capitals (15-12-4) have been finding their footing and are red-hot on a five-game winning streak, and as they enter Thursday, find themselves one point out of a Wild Card spot and Alex Ovechkin again on the edge of history. The 37-year-old scored a hat trick on Tuesday for his 800th career goal, and with one more goal, he can tie Gordie Howe for second on the NHL's all-time goals list, and with two, he could pass him.

Washington has also seen things turn around on several levels, as the power play has scored in seven straight outings and 10 of the last 11 overall. Meanwhile, the penalty kill ranks ninth-best (80.4 percent) in the league. And, despite several injuries across the board to the likes of Darcy Kuemper, Martin Fehervary and Alex Alexeyev, the Capitals have gotten strong showings from Charlie Lindgren and more to keep the good times rolling.

It'll be tough against Dallas, though. The Stars (17-8-5) lead the Central Division and have gotten outstanding play across the board. The power play is the 10th-best in the league (24.4), and the penalty kill ranks third (84.4). Jason Robertson has also been a star in the making and one of the league's best players, which has led the way for Dallas this season, and Jake Oettinger is also playing up to his standards.

Dallas Stars vs. Washington Capitals: Lines

Kuemper skated on Thursday, but he will not dress. Fehervary got in work before practice. Sonny Milano has a non-COVID illness and will not play.

The lines got a slight tweak, as a red-hot Anthony Mantha will move to the top-6. Here were the combinations:

Alex Ovechkin-Dylan Strome-Conor Sheary

Aliaksei Protas-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Anthony Mantha

Marcus Johansson-Lars Eller-T.J. Oshie

Nicolas Aube-Kubel-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson-John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen

Matt Irwin-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Charlie Lindgren will make his sixth straight start, as Hunter Shepard will back up.

Dallas Stars vs. Washington Capitals: Players to Watch

When it comes to names to watch, obviously watch out for Ovechkin. He is closing in on Howe's record, and he also has goals in four straight games, including seven goals total over that span. Evgeny Kuznetsov is on a six-game point streak, while Mantha has points in four straight games. Also look out for Conor Sheary, who has seven points in his last seven games.

On the Stars' side, Robertson is the star of the show. The 23-year-old has 23 goals (tied for second in the NHL) and 20 assists for 43 points in 30 games, and he has points in two of his last three games. Roope Hintz is also dangerous and has goals in back-to-back games and points in three of his last four, with four points over that span. And, as always, keep an eye on the other usual suspects: Joe Pavelski, Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Miro Heiskanen.

How To Tune In

Local fans can watch the action live on NBC Sports Washington and listen on Caps Radio 24/7. Dallas fans can catch the action on Bally Sports Southwest. The game will also be on ESPN+.

Puck drop is at 7 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena.