The Washington Capitals didn’t come back from the All-Star break with the same firepower they had weeks prior. They opened the second half of the 2016-17 campaign with a 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders. They will look to redeem themselves Wednesday when they take on the Boston Bruins on home ice.
These two teams last met in December, when the Capitals managed to escape with an ugly 4-3 overtime win over Boston. With a victory over Boston, Washington can secure a four-point lead over the Metropolitan Division. By the same token, they can extend their lead over the NHL as well.
Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals
Verizon Center- 8 p.m. EST
Broadcast channels – NBCSN
2016-17 Season Series:
Dec. 7- Bruins 3 – Capitals 4
Washington Capitals – 33-11-6, 72 Points
Home Record: 19-5-1
Hot Players: Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom
Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Justin Williams
Brett Conolly-Lars Eller-Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik-Jay Beagle-Tom Wilson
Karl Alzner-John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov-Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik-Nate Schmidt
Boston Bruins – 26-21-6, 58 Points
Away Record: 14-9-6
Hot Players: Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano-David Krejci-David Backes
Matt Beleskey-Ryan Spooner-Riley Nash
Tim Schaller-Dominic Moore-Jimmy Hayes
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Colin Miller-Kevan Miller
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]Evgeny Kuznetsov has points in four of his last five games, and seems to be finding his touch. In those games, three of four were multi-point performances. Alex Ovechkin also has points in four of his last five.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Bruins possess the second-best penalty-killing percentage in the league, with over 86 percent success. This will be useful against the Capitals, who have one of the most lethal power-play units in the NHL.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]David Pastrnak seems to be finding his stride, and has points in three of his last five games. The 20-year-old now has 20 goals and 38 points on the year and can make a mark against Washington Wednesday.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]With John Carlson coming back into the lineup, the team will surely get an upgrade on the defensive corps. He eased back into the lineup Tuesday, logging about 20 minutes of ice time. Carlson will be an asset against Marchand and the Bruins Wednesday.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap]In the midst of a back-to-back series, the Capitals will give Holtby the nod Wednesday. He has outstanding numbers against the Capitals, going 10-2-0 and boasting a 1.69 GAA and .948 save mark. Rask will start for Boston, but hasn’t been as successful as Holtby, going 1-8-5 in his career against the Capitals.
Sammi Silber covers the Capitals beat for The Hockey Writers and is an NHL contributor with Sporting News. She has also contributed to USA TODAY College, Huffington Post, FanSided and the Nation Network. Silber has written four books and recently worked on graphics for the film, The California Golden Seals Movie.