Dallas Stars (7-5-0 14pts) v. Washington Capitals (5-4-2 12pts)
Time: 7p EST
Station: NBC Sports Washington
The Washington Capitals begin a 5 game home stand where they look to turn things around and bring more consistency into their game as they host the Dallas Stars tonight. Dallas on the other hand will be looking for their third straight victory tonight.
Devin Shore — Tyler Seguin — Mattias Janmark
Jamie Benn — Jason Spezza — Valeri Nichushkin
Tyler Pitlick — Radek Faksa — Blake Comeau
Gemel Smith — Jason Dickinson — Brett Ritchie
Esa Lindell — John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen — Roman Polak
Dillon Heatherington — Julius Honka
Scratched: Justin Dowling
Injured: Alexander Radulov (lower body), Marc Methot (lower body), Martin Hanzal (back), Stephen Johns(concussion), Connor Carrick (foot)
Keys to the Game:
1. Clog up the neutral zone
Something that the Capitals have been having difficulty with lately has been their play through the neutral zone, and if Dallas can clog it up, it can foil and frustrate the Capitals.
Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Jakub Vrana
Andre Burakovsky — Nicklas Backstrom — T.J. Oshie
Dmitrij Jaskin — Lars Eller — Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson — Nick Dowd — Devante Smith-Pelly
Dmitry Orlov — Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny — John Carlson
Christian Djoos — Madison Bowey
Scratched: Nathan Walker, Aaron Ness
Injured: Brooks Orpik (lower body), Travis Boyd (leg)
Suspended: Tom Wilson
Keys to the Game:
1. Feed the home energy
The Capitals are going to want to give their fans something to cheer about, and the fans want to see the Capitals succeed so the energy in Capital One Arena will be huge for the Capitals and their success against Dallas.
2. Need to play a full 60 minutes
The Capitals could have easily defeated both Calgary and Montreal if they had played full 60 minute games, but when it really mattered they turtled in the 3rd period and allowed their opponents back into the game. They cannot do that anymore.
Stars Penalty – 16:46 – Blake Comeau 2 minutes for Slashing
End of 1st – DAL – 2 WAS – 0
Shots 11 11
Faceoffs 06 09
Hits 11 10
PP 0/0 0/1
This period could be viewed one of two ways. It could be viewed as very poor due to their pitiful play in their own zone, or an ok period because when they played in Dallas’ zone they did dominate the play and drew a penalty. However, the fact that they had 11 giveaways to Dallas’ 4 is very concerning.
Need to Do:
The Capitals need to clean up the play in their own zone and fast. They cannot play in their own zone with the recklessness that they have. They need to slow the play down, and make smarter plays. Also if the Stars really force the issue, then the Capitals need to protect the puck better to prevent any takeaways.
Capitals Penalty – 3:11 – Braden Holtby (Stephenson) 2 minutes for High Sticking
Capitals Penalty – 6:44 – TJ Oshie 2 minutes for Tripping
Stars Penalty – 18:41 – Jason Dickinson 2 minutes for Interference
End of 2nd – DAL – 3 WAS – 2
Shots 20 24
Faceoffs 17 18
Hits 15 18
PP 0/2 0/1 *2nd in Progress
A better period for the Capitals that saw them strike quickly 38 seconds into the period, however, another bad play in their own zone allowed Dallas to get their 2 goal lead back. A good response by the Capitals would allow them to get another one on the board and be down by only one going into the 3rd period.
Side Note – Both Madison Bowey and Dmitrij Jaskin have both looked very good so far in this game, and have been worthy of the extra playing time they’ve received so far.
Need to Do:
The Capitals need to utilize their powerplays better and continue to move their feet and create chaos for the Stars in their own zone. Also the Capitals need to continue playing better in their own zone.
Stars Penalty – 6:39 – Roman Polak 2 minutes for Interference
End of 3rd – DAL – 3 WAS – 3
Shots 30 31
Faceoffs 25 30
Hits 19 23
PP 0/2 1/3
Stars Penalty Shot – :59 – Tyler Seguin – Save
Stars Goal – 3:17 – Jason Dickenson (3) from unassisted
End of OT – DAL – 4 WAS – 3
Shots 36 32
Faceoffs 27 31
Hits 19 25
PP 0/2 1/3
This was a tough game for the Capitals. The second half of the game was definitely better for them, but overall it was not very good. In overtime alone they were dominated by the Stars, and that is why they won, and the Capitals lost. The Capitals need to clean up the play in their own zone, and help out Braden Holtby as they have been putting him and Pheonix Copley in tough situations so far this season. The Capitals need to really get their game together as now they are going into a stretch where the challenges are going to be there and in their face.
Washington (5-4-3 13pts) v Edmonton (7-4-1 15pts)
Dallas (8-5-0 16pts) @ Boston (7-3-2 16pts)