Washington Capitals (2-0-2) v. Nashville Predators (2-1-0)
|Expected Goaltender||Record (W-L-OTL)||GAA/SV%|
|Washington Capitals||Braden Holtby||1-0-2||2.89/.882|
|Nashville Predators||Pekka Rinne||2-0-0||2.00/.932|
Tonight, the Washington Capitals are looking to end a two-game losing streak, as they face off against the Nashville Predators. So far this season, the Capitals are 2-0 on the road, and that is something fans should be excited about.
The Capitals have lost their last pair of games, both in overtime, to two teams with very similar playing styles. The most recent loss came on Tuesday, versus the Dallas Stars, who were hoping to snap a three-game winless streak. Evgeny Kuznetsov gave the Caps an early 1-0 lead just under five minutes into the first period. Expectations were high for the Russian center, who after serving a three-game suspension, played in his first game of the season on Tuesday. Roope Hintz scored his fourth goal of the season, and defenseman John Carlson would regain the lead for the Capitals late in the second period. Dallas would go on to score two more goals, establishing their first lead of the night. But with just 30 seconds remaining in the game, Nicklas Backstrom tied the game 3-3. Tyler Seguin, who was fairly quiet for the majority of the 2018-19 season ultimately would be the one to win it for Dallas, with his game winning goal coming just 43 seconds into the overtime period (TheScore, WSH v DAL). A final OT score of 4-3 is familiar to the Caps, as they lost in OT to Dallas in November 2018 by a score of 4-3 as well. The Capitals power play continues to suffer, and goaltending has been iffy, at best. To start the season, Washington goaltender Braden Holtby has been extremely inconsistent, teetering between making clutch much-needed saves, and allowing soft, should-be-stopped goals. Braden Holtby is expected to start tonight for the Capitals, but we may see changes in the line-up prior to puck drop.
The Nashville Predators won their last game in a dominating 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Playing in Bridgestone Arena, aka “Smashville” is not easy, and winning proves to be even more difficult. Predators’ fans are ruthless, and passionate. Their cheers and chants are deafening, and their roster features goal scoring depth matched by few other teams. Despite being held to single digit shots on goal through all three periods, Nashville defenseman Roman Josi scored two of his own goals, and goals from Kyle Turris, Filip Forsberg, and Dante Fabbro gave them their 2nd win of the season (TheScore, NSH v SJ). Through three games, Nashville ranks 5th in shots on goal, and more importantly, is tied for 20th in goals allowed (3.5) (TheScore, Nashville). Predators’ goaltender Pekka Rinne has won both games he has started this season, and boasts a .917SV% (NHL.com). Nashville’s’ back-up goaltender Juuse Saros has a pristine record against Washington, having won every game he has started vs the Capitals.
The last time the Capitals and the Predators faced off was on January 15, 2019, where the Caps lost 7-2 during a 7-game losing streak. All but three players (Brett Connolly, Lars Eller, Brooks Orpik) ended the night with (-) ratings. Viktor Arvidsson scored a hat-trick, and Nick Bonino scored a pair of his own. Only Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie managed to get goals on the board for the Caps’. The Capitals have only beaten Nashville twice out of their last 11 meetings, dating back to 2014 (mcubed.net).
Per Samantha Pell of the Washington Post, defenseman Michal Kempny is traveling with the team, but will not dress tonight versus Nashville. His status for Saturday in Dallas is undetermined.
Coverage of the game begins at 7:00pm with Caps Faceoff Live, followed by Caps Pregame Live at 7:30pm, all on NBCSN/NBCSWA, with puck drop shortly after 8:00pm.
Mcubed. (2019). Series records: Washington Capitals against Nashville Predators. Retrieved from http://mcubed.net/nhl/wsh/nsh.shtml.
NHL.com. (2019). Pekka Rinne Stats and News. Retrieved from https://www.nhl.com/player/pekka-rinne-8471469.
Pell, S. (2019). Michal Kempny will travel, won’t play Thursday at Nashville. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/10/09/michal-kempny-will-travel-wont-play-thursday-nashville/#click=https://t.co/IqG1kFMLul.
TheScore. (2019). Nashville Predators. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/19.
TheScore. (2019). NSH vs SJ. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events/21767.
TheScore. (2019). WSH vs DAL. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events/21765.