Washington Capitals (2-0-1) v. Dallas Stars (0-3-0)
|Predicted Goaltender||Record (W-L-OTL)||GAA/SV%|
|Washington Capitals||Braden Holtby||1-0-1||2.36/.900|
|Dallas Stars||Ben Bishop||0-2-0||2.59/.900|
Tonight, the Washington Capitals are looking to get back on the winning side of things as they face off against the Dallas Stars in the first of two meetings this week. The Capitals won two of their first three games, and secured 5 of 6 possible points, giving them a strong start to the season. The Dallas Stars, on the other hand, are looking to just win.
Four days ago, the Capitals dropped the first of four meetings with the Carolina Hurricanes in a 3-2 overtime loss. On the date of their Home Opener, the Capitals were hoping to beat the team that eliminated them in the first round last season. A powerless Capitals’ power play and poor refereeing gave the Hurricanes a prime opportunity to overtake the division, and now remain undefeated with three wins to start their season. One of the newest additions to the Capitals roster, Garnet Hathaway, scored his first and second goals of the season, although the second goal was overturned due to alleged ‘goaltender interference’. T.J. Oshie scored his second of the season, but despite being gifted with six power play opportunities, the Capitals were unable to convert on a single one. One bright spot of the evening, was an improved faceoff percentage, which was something the Capitals seriously struggled with last season. Washington won 55.4% of their face-offs, and through three games have won 52.3% of all face-offs taken, which is (so far) significantly better than their 40-some percent from last season (TheScore, Washington). Tonight, the Capitals need to take advantage of any power plays gifted to them, and need to play strong in front of their goaltender. Despite a strong showing by the newest Caps back-up goaltender Ilya Samsonov, Braden Holtby is expected to get the start for the Washington Capitals tonight.
The Dallas Stars haven’t won a single game yet this season, giving them a 0-3-0 start for the first time since the franchise moved to Texas. It is also the first time in history the team has failed to secure at least one point since the 1988-1989 season in which the-then North Stars started their season with four straight losses (Shapiro). Although losing streaks aren’t new to the Stars’ organization, and while we aren’t even a full week into the season, the Dallas Stars need to begin firing on all cylinders, and that means defense needs to start defending, and offense needs to start scoring. Stars Center Roope Hintz has three goals in three games, and scored two of the teams’ three total goals in their last game versus the Detroit Red Wings. In that disheartening road loss, the Stars started off hot, having scored two goals in the first period. However, Detroits’ Anthony Mantha didn’t just score two goals to tie the game in the second, but went on to score a hat-trick, plus one, to lift the Red Wings over the Stars, 4-3 (Lage).
In other Caps’ news, Travis Boyd cleared waivers, and will report to the Hershey Bears. Jonas Siegenthaler, who was ‘sent to Hershey’ as a paper transaction will in fact start for the Capitals tonight. Defenseman Michal Kempny, who was first expected to dress tonight against the Stars, will not make tonight’s roster (RotoWire). Forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has completed his three-game suspension and will play in his first game of the season tonight.
Coverage of the game begins at 6:00pm with Caps Faceoff Live, followed by Caps Pregame Live at 6:30pm, all on NBCSN/NBCSWA, with puck drop shortly after 7:00pm.
Lage, L. (2019). Anthony Mantha scores four goals in Red Wings win over Stars. Retrieved from https://www.wxyz.com/sports/anthony-mantha-scores-four-goals-in-red-wings-win-over-stars.
RotoWire Staff. (2019). Capitals’ Michal Kempny: Unavailable Tuesday. Retrieved from https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/hockey/news/capitals-michal-kempny-unavailable-tuesday/
Shapiro, S. (2019). Stars 20/20: Time for a change after three straight third-period collapses. Retrieved from https://theathletic.com/1271026/2019/10/07/stars-20-20-time-for-a-change-after-three-straight-third-period-collapses/.
TheScore. (2019). Washington Capitals. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/15.