Preview: Capitals Welcome Bruins in Critical Matchup

The Washington Capitals are in need of some spark, especially after they snapped a three-game losing skid with a 3-2 overtime win over Buffalo Monday.

Squaring off with the Bruins for the first time this season, the Capitals have a chance to tie Philadelphia for fourth in the Metropolitan Division and rediscover their winning ways.

Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals

Verizon Center- 7 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – NBCSN, TVAS

2015-16 Season Series: 

November 5- Capitals 4 – Bruins 1

January 5- Capitals 3 – Bruins 2

March 5 – Capitals 2 – Bruins 1 (OTW)

Washington Capitals – 14-7-3, 31 Points

Home Record: 9-4-0

Hot Players: Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson

Key Injuries: None (T.J. Oshie returning)


Projected Lines:


Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie

Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Justin Williams

Andre Burakovsky-Lars Eller-Jakub Vrana

Daniel Winnik-Jay Beagle-Tom Wilson


Dmitry Orlov-Matt Niskanen

Karl Alzner-John Carlson

Brooks Orpik-Nate Schmidt


Braden Holtby

Boston Bruins – 15-10-1, 31 points

Away Record: 8-5-1

Hot Players: Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci

Key Injuries: Matt Beleskey, John Michael-Liles, Frank Vatrano

Projected Lines:


Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak

Tim Schiller-David Krejci-David Backes

Ryan Spooner-Riley Nash-Austin Czarnik

Anton Blidh-Dominic Moore-Jimmy Hayes


Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Kevan Miller-Colin Miller


Tuukka Rask

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Capitals will get Oshie back in the lineup after he was week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Oshie is fourth when it comes to team scoring, with eight goals and 12 points this season. With Washington lacking offensive firepower from top players like Ovechkin and Kuznetsov, the return of Oshie will be vital for a Capitals victory.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]Washington’s power-play scored in three of its last five games, but that doesn’t tell the true story of the Capitals’ woes on the man advantage. Over those last five matches, Washington has gone 3-for-23 on the power-play, and have a 15.2 percent success rate on the PP this season. Hopefully, Oshie’s return to the top unit will get something going, but they’ll have to beat the Bruins’ dominant penalty kill, which is the third-best in the NHL.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3) [/miptheme_dropcap]Washington swept the season series against Boston last season and seemed to have no problem limiting the Bruins’ goal-scoring and shutting them down effectively. They’ll have to keep the same mentality in mind when they begin this year’s rendezvous with Boston.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]Holtby has proven to be phenomenal against the Bruins throughout his career. In 11 games, against the Bruins, he has gone 9-2-0, boasting a 1.57 GAA, a .952 save percentage and three shutouts to boot. He will have to continue his hot streak and shut down Boston yet again.

This is a critical game when it comes to keeping pace in the Eastern Conference and staying in playoff position. Washington and Boston currently take the seventh and eighth place spots respectively and are knotted at 31 points a piece.

Whichever team wins will tie Philadelphia for sixth place. If Washington loses, they will fall to eighth place and have a chance of losing their playoff position to the New Jersey Devils. Overall, this is a vital match-up when it comes to the standings, and the Capitals will need to deliver.