Preview: Capitals Look for Spark Against Lightning

In the midst of a two-game skid, the Washington Capitals are looking to rebound Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team looking for its third straight win.

With the victory, the Capitals could tie the Flyers for the first wild card spot and would avoid slipping down the Eastern Conference standings.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals

Verizon Center- 7:00 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – CSNMA, SunS

2016-17 Season Series:

Dec. 3 Lightning 2 Capitals 1 (SO)

Washington Capitals – 19-8-4, 42 Points

Home Record: 11-5-0

Hot Players: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Justin Williams, Alex Ovechkin

Projected Lines:


Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Justin Williams

Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie

Jakub Vrana-Lars Eller-Andre Burakovsky

Daniel Winnik-Jay Beagle-Tom Wilson


Karl Alzner-John Carlson

Dmitri Orlov- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik-Taylor Chorney


Braden Holtby


Tampa Bay Lightning – 17-14-3, 37 Points

Away Record: 8-9-2

Hot Players: Victor Hedman, Jonathan Drouin, Valtteri Filppula

Key Injuries: Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Ryan Callahan, Vladislav Namestnikov, Ben Bishop

Projected Lines:


Cory Conacher-Tyler Johnson-Erik Condra

Brian Boyle-Valtteri Filppula-Jonathan Drouin

Alex Killorn-Brayden Point-Cedric Paquette

Michael Bournival-Tanner Richard-J.T. Brown


Victor Hedman-Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison-Andrej Sustr

Slater Koekkoek-Braydon Coburn


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]With Tampa Bay’s top players on the shelf, the Capitals won’t have to worry about threats like Stamkos or Kucherov, and should have an opportunity to overpower them with offense while playing a strong defensive game. However, Washington should keep a close eye on Jonathan Drouin as well as the blue line, where Victor Hedman’s become an offensive threat.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]Andre Burakovsky will stay in the lineup to prove his worth after ending an eight-game point drought with a two-point performance (one goal, one assist) against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Willaims trio is starting to find its rhythm, and has combined for 13 points over the last five games. Williams is riding a four-game point streak, as well as a three-game goal-scoring streak. With this line heating up, expect them to do some damage against the Lightning on Friday.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]Washington’s hot power-play may have been silent against the Flyers, but prior to Wednesday’s game, they had a PPG in five straight games. Tampa Bay has the eighth-worst penalty kill in the league (79.3 percent success), so the Capitals must take full advantage of the man advantage and continue their hot streak. They also need to be alert on the penalty kill since Tampa Bay has one of the top PP units in the NHL.