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Capitals Game Day

Capitals vs. Golden Knights: Lines, Tale of the Tape, Players to Watch

The Washington Capitals try to keep the good times rolling and face the possibility of suiting up without Alex Ovechkin against the Vegas Golden Knights. Here are lines, updates, players to watch, key stats and everything to know before puck drop.



The Washington Capitals are still trying to turn a slow start to January around and want to keep the good times rolling against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, and they may be shorthanded and without their captain to boot.

Here's everything to know before puck drop.

Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights: Tale of the Tape

The Capitals (25-17-6) have the chance to take over third in the Metropolitan Division and have won two of the last three games, including an impressive 4-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday that saw them do all the right things at both end of the ice to kick off their three-game road swing. Washington also ended a lengthy power-play drought and got some things going on offense while seeing a few names start to heat up as Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom continue to get comfortable and form great chemistry with Sonny Milano. Darcy Kuemper was also strong, stopping all 26 shots against en route to his league-leading fifth shutout of the season, and the defense and penalty kill — which ranks eighth in the league (81.5) — have been stronger, too.

Although Vegas (28-16-2) sits second in the Pacific Division, the team is hanging on tight right now after dropping the last three games in what's been a lackluster home stand. The Golden Knights are still getting offense and averaging over three goals per night, but things just haven't been clicking for them right now. Still, they are dangerous, and their special teams are impressive, too, as the power-play ranks the eighth-best in the league (24.8) while the penalty kill sits in the middle of the pack (78.5).

Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights: Lines

Washington will be without the services of Alex Ovechkin, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. The 37-year-old has played in every game so far and has 30 goals and 22 assists in 48 games. With him out, Anthony Mantha was in his place at morning skate. He is back in with Ovechkin hurt and avoids his fifth scratch over the last seven games.

Here are the line combinations:

Anthony Mantha-Dylan Strome-Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Sonny Milano-Nicklas Backstrom-Tom Wilson

Conor Sheary-Lars Eller-T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen

Alex Alexeyev-Martin Fehervary

Darcy Kuemper is the starter, with Charlie Lindgren set to back up. Aliaksei Protas and Matt Irwin are the other extras.

Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights: Players to Watch

When it comes to names to watch, keep an eye on the Milano-Backstrom-Wilson combo. Wilson has looked more comfortable with each game since his return, and his "BMW" line has been thriving together. The 28-year-old has three points (two goals, one assist) in his last three games. The same goes for Backstrom, who has three assists in six games this season and appears to be feeling more like himself each game. Milano has also been stellar and has points in two of his last three outings to boot. Beyond them, Dylan Strome has goals in back-to-back games, with three games over that span. In addition, Dmitry Orlov has four points in his last three outings, and Evgeny Kuznetsov has three points in his last three games and is the team's second-leading point scorer behind Ovechkin (39 points in 47 GP).

On the Golden Knights' side, 2018 Stanley Cup champion Chandler Stephenson leads the team in scoring this season with 40 points in 46 games. Prior to the last two games, Mark Stone was riding a seven-game point streak, and he has 13 points over his last nine games. William Karlsson has points in three of his last four games, and William Carrier has points in back-to-back games. Jack Eichel is still producing at over a point-per-game pace, and also keep an eye out for other stars in Phil Kessel, Alex Pietrangelo and Jonathan Marchessault.

How To Tune In

Local fans can catch the action live on NBC Sports Washington and turn the radio to WJFK 106.7 The Fan and Caps Radio 24/7. Vegas fans can watch on AT&T Sportsnet.

Puck drop is at 10 p.m. ET at T-Mobile Arena, where the Capitals won their first Stanley Cup just a few years back.

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