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Capitals Game Day

Capitals Game Day: Lines, Who To Watch, What To Know vs. Predators



Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin

Despite a deflating shutout loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday, the Washington Capitals are trusting in the process as they prepare to face the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Saturday’s tilt will be the third game of a four-game road swing. Washington had doubled up on the New Jersey Devils on Monday, but found itself shut out for the first time this season on Thursday, leading to a 4-4 record through eight games to open the season.

The Capitals’ offense and 5-on-5 play hasn’t necessarily been there to start the season. Despite four-goal periods and wild rallies in select games, they haven’t been able to connect much or find a lot of chemistry, and have also fallen prey to miscommunications, unlucky bounces and lost puck battles.

Some figured that the lines may change given Thursday’s result, but head coach Peter Laviolette isn’t pulling out the blender yet. The lines are staying the same it seems, as they stuck with the same combinations at Saturday’s morning skate, per The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell:

Here are those same lines:

Alex Ovechkin-Dylan Strome-Conor Sheary

Marcus Johansson-Evgeny Kuznetsov-T.J. Oshie

Aliaksei Protas-Lars Eller-Anthony Mantha

Beck Malenstyn-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Dmitry Orlov-John Carlson

Martin Fehervary-Nick Jensen

Erik Gustafsson-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Darcy Kuemper

Charlie Lindgren

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When it comes to players to watch, keep an eye on Alex Ovechkin. The Great 8 led the team with seven shots last game and hit two crossbars. It’s only a matter of time before another goes in for him. Also look out for that fourth line of Beck Malenstyn-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway; that trio has looked solid and has been aggressive on the forecheck, with Malenstyn impressing and fitting in seamlessly with that powerhouse combo’s identity.

On the Nasvhille side of the matchup, the team is hungry after dropping five of its last six but finally getting away with a big win on Thursday. Look out for Matt Duchene and former Capitals prospect Filip Forsberg, who both have four points in his last two games and has gotten on the scoresheet in three of his last four outings. Roman Josi is also coming off a three-point performance, and Mikael Granlund has also been hot to start the season.

The puck drops at 8:00 p.m. ET at Bridgestone Arena.