Despite a rough go-of-it on Thursday, the Washington Capitals believe they’re trending in the right direction, and they’ll try to continue manifesting that into the truth when they take on the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Here’s everything to know, including the full tale of the tape, expected lines and who to keep an eye on.
Washington Capitals vs. Calgary Flames: Tale Of The Tape
The Capitals (10-11-3) weren’t happy with how things played out in Seattle, after a 2-0 lead turned into a 3-2 overtime loss to the Kraken in a matter of minutes. However, they cited their strong start and getting off to a lead, something that the team has seen more of over this last stretch, put them in a good spot and helped them escape with a point in a game where they probably should have left empty-handed.
Eight days ago, Washington faced off against the Flames on home ice, as Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie and Darcy Kuemper led the charge en route to a 3-0 shutout victory.
Calgary, meanwhile, is 10-3-3 and has dropped three of its last four decisions. However, the Flames showed just how dangerous it can be when they topped Florida, 6-2, earlier this week. Also, the team does a good job of getting pucks on net, averaging the fourth-most shots per game (34.8), and the club doesn’t give much up either and ranks fourth-to-last in shots allowed per game (28.3).
Washington Capitals vs. Calgary Flames: Expected Lines
Dmitry Orlov is back with the Capitals and skating after joining the club in Seattle, but per head coach Peter Laviolette, he will miss his 12th straight game with a lower-body injury.
It’s unclear what the exact combinations will be since Saturday was an optional skate. Here what the lines looked like on Thursday and what they’ll likely remain:
Alex Ovechkin-Dylan Strome-Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano-Evgeny Kuznetsov-T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson-Lars Eller-Anthony Mantha
Aliaksei Protas-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway
Erik Gustafsson-John Carlson
Martin Fehervary-Nick Jensen
Alex Alexeyev-Trevor van Riemsdyk
Expect Kuemper, who’s been solid in his career against the Flames, to get the start.
Washington Capitals vs. Calgary Flames: Players To Watch
For Washington, as remains the case, look out for Ovechkin. The Great 8 is set to play in his 1,300th regular-season game on Saturday and is seven goals away from 800. He has five goals in his last seven games and eight points in his last five outings (points in four of his last five games overall). Also, keep an eye on Conor Sheary, who ranks second in goals (8) this season and is coming off a multi-point performance against the Kraken. In addition, Marcus Johansson is on a three-game point streak, and Martin Fehervary has goals in back-to-back games.
On the Flames side, Jonathan Huberdeau is finding his game and starting to settle into his new home, and he has points in three straight. Elias Lindholm leads the team in scoring with 17 points in 23 games. Tyler Toffoli has two multi-point showings in his last three games. Also look out for Nazem Kadri and Rasmus Andersson, who are always dangerous.
How To Watch
Puck drop is at 10 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Saddledome.