After getting a small break from game action, the Washington Capitals will be right back in the thick of it on Tuesday against Bruce Boudreau and the Vancouver Canucks.
Here’s everything to know ahead of the matchup, which won’t be easy for either side as they look to turn their respective seasons around.
Washington Capitals vs. Vancouver Canucks: Tale Of The Tape
Following back-to-back wins at home prior to their season-long six-game road swing, things appeared to be looking up for the Capitals (9-11-3). However, a 5-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils that looked a lot worse on paper set them back slightly, and they remain four points out of a Wild Card spot. They’ll need to recapture their winning ways and continue to get help from other teams in the East as they look to climb out of the early hole they dug themselves in amid injuries and inconsistency.
Meanwhile, the Canucks have won three straight games and are 9-10-3. However, they are in a more difficult position in the West as they sit eight points back of a Wild Card spot. They’ve been finding ways to win of late, though, and have their power play to thank, as it’s the fifth-best in the league at 28.6 percent. However, their PK will have to step up and faces a challenge against Washington; Vancouver has the second-worst PK in the league at 66.2 percent.
Washington Capitals Lines
Tuesday’s morning skate is an optional, but here are the likely lines based on Monday:
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
Matt Irwin-Trevor van Riemsdyk
Expect Darcy Kuemper to start after he got Saturday night off.
Washington Capitals vs. Vancouver Canucks: Players To Watch
On the Capitals side, look out for Alex Ovechkin, who has goals in two of his last three games and had a four-point showing against the Canucks back on Oct. 17. He is one goal away from tying Wayen Gretzky for the most road goals in NHL history. He sits nine away from 800, 11 away from passing Gordie Howe for second and 104 from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record. Evgeny Kuznetsov, who had three assists in the earlier tilt this year with Vacnouver, has points in three of his last five games. Also keep an eye on Dylan Strome and Marcus Johansson, who have points in two of their last three outings.
With regard to Vancouver, Brock Boeser is on fire with points in eight straight and points in 15 of his last 16 overall. Rookie Andrei Kuzmenko is also a big threat with 10 points in his last five games. Elias Pettersson will also dangerous, as he’s on a six-game point streak of his own. Bo Horvat also has points in four striaght and leads the team with 17 goals. Spencer Martin is the projected starter for the Canucks.
Washington Capitals vs. Vancouver Canucks: How To Watch
Puck drop is at 10 p.m. PT at Rogers Arena.