Preview: Capitals Target Ducks to Extend Streak

The Washington Capitals are seeking 12 straight home wins Saturday, when they square off against the Anaheim Ducks in their last home game before their bye week.

Washington’s recent hot streak has given them six straight victories following the All-Star break, as well as a comfortable lead over the Metropolitan Division and NHL standings. They will face Anaheim, a team that has lost three of its last four games and is looking to stay in the race for the Pacific Division lead.

With a key victory on the line for both teams, this is sure to be a competitive, aggressive match-up, especially considering the Capitals want to enter the bye week with a lengthy winning streak under their belts.

Anaheim Ducks at Washington Capitals

Verizon Center- 7:30 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – CSNMA, FSW

2015-16 Season Series:

March 7- Capitals 2 Ducks 1 (SO)

April 10- Ducks 2 Capitals 0

Washington Capitals – 38-11-6, 82 Points

Home Record: 23-5-1

Hot Players: Nicklas Backstrom, Brett Connolly, Evgeny Kuznetsov

Key Injuries: Andre Burakovsky

Projected Lines:


Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Justin Williams

Brett Connolly-Lars Eller-Zachary Sanford

Daniel Winnik-Jay Beagle-Tom Wilson


Karl Alzner-John Carlson

Dmitri Orlov- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik-Nate Schmidt


Braden Holtby


Anaheim Ducks- 29-17-10, 68 Points

Away Record: 12-11-7

Hot Players: Ryan Kesler, Jakob Silfverberg, Antoine Vermette

Key Injuries: Simon Despres, Clayton Stoner, Sami Vatanen

Projected Lines:


Antoine Vermette-Ryan Getzlaf-Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie-Rickard Rakell-Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano-Ryan Kesler-Logan Shaw

Joseph Cramorossa-Nate Thompson-Jared Boll


Cam Fowler-Brandon Montour

Hampus Lindholm-Josh Manson

Shea Theodore-Kevin Bieksa


John Gibson

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]Andre Burakovsky could be out at least a month following an injury sustained in Washington’s 6-3 win over the Red Wings. The Swedish winger was hit in the hand with a slapshot, and never returned to the game. Zachary Sanford, one of Washington’s top forward prospects, will step in and take Burakovsky’s place on the surging third line. In 20 NHL games this season, Sanford has just one assist and is a minus-1.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]Ryan Kesler has points in three of his last four games. The third-line center leads the Ducks with 43 points this season and is on pace for his second straight 50-point season. Washington will have to have more awareness while facing the bottom-six, considering Kesler is the team’s biggest offense threat of late.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]Nicklas Backstrom and Brett Connolly extended their respective point streaks Thursday, but Connolly’s recent surge is the most surprising. The 24-year-old winger has goals in three straight games and is riding a five-game point streak. With Connolly leading the charge on the bottom-six, and Backstrom quietly making a statement, expect Washington to get the most out of their forward lines Saturday.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]Braden Holtby will get the nod Saturday, making this his second career game against Anaheim. Holtby is looking for his 14th straight victory, and won his only start against the Ducks, stopping 27 0f 28 shots and posting a .964 save mark. John Gibson will start for Anaheim. The 22-year-old has gone 0-1-1 in two career games against the Capitals with a 2.93 GAA and .900 save percentage.