Washington Capitals (7-2-3) v Vancouver Canucks (6-3-0)
|Predicted Goaltender||Record (W-L-OTL)||GAA/SA%|
|Washington Capitals||Ilya Samsonov||3-1-0||1.84/.933|
|Vancouver Canucks||Jacob Markstrom||4-2-0||2.15/.933|
Tonight, the Washington Capitals will play their second game in as many nights. It is extremely difficult for teams to play back-to-backs, and therefore, the Caps will try to get snag that extra point another blown third period lead cost them last night. The Vancouver Canucks on the other hand, will be well-rested, as they have not played since Tuesday.
Washington dropped their last game versus the red-hot Edmonton Oilers. Last night, in a somewhat slow first period, it was Darnell Nurse that put the Oilers on the board first. Jakub Vrana added to his 3 goals on the season with the game-tying goal in the second, and Alex Ovechkin would add two to that lead with his 8th and 9th goals of the season. Unfortunately, the Capitals would blow another third period lead, with goals coming from Leon Draistaitl and Connor McDavid. Connor McDavid had never scored against net-minder Braden Holtby until their last game, where the prodigy would ultimately tie the game at three goals each with just over one minute remaining in the third. An overtime period would be required to settle the match, and it would be Leon Draisaitl that deceivingly snuck the puck past Holtby to keep the Oilers undefeated at home. Luckily, the Capitals walked away with an extra consolation prize point, and with Carolina losing to Columbus in overtime, Washington held onto that top spot in the division. With Braden Holtby having started last night, Ilya Samsonov will get the nod tonight.
The Vancouver Canucks won their last game in a dominant 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Although Anthony Mantha put the Red Wings on the board first, and Dennis Cholowski added to that lead in the second period, the tides turned just moments into the third. Bo Horvat opened up the third period scoring with two goals less than four minutes in, tying the two teams with two goals each. In a similar fashion to both Detroit goals, Horvats’ two goals came on the power play. Vancouver killed off the five other power plays the Red Wings received. Jake Virtanen broke the tie with his first goal of the season, and just over two minutes later, Tim Schaller increased the Canucks’ lead by 2. Bo Horvat would score his first hat trick of the season courtesy of an empty net goal, giving him his 5th of the season (TheScore, VAN @ DET). Most of Vancouver’s games have been high-scoring affairs, and thus, the Canucks allow the 2nd most goals against in the league (2.11). However, thanks to faceoff extraordinaire Jay Beagle and improved offense, the Canucks rank third in faceoffs, winning an average of 54.4% of faceoffs taken (TheScore, Vancouver). It seems that regardless of which goaltender they start, both Markstrom and Demko are off to strong starts. Jacob Markstrom stopped 31 of 33 shots faced versus the Red Wings, and is 4-2-0 in six starts. He is expected to start tonight against the Caps.
Coverage of the game begins at 9:00pm with Caps Faceoff Live, followed by Caps Pregame Live at 9:30pm, all on NBCSN/NBCSWA, with puck drop shortly after 10:00pm.
TheScore. (2019). Vancouver Canucks. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/30.
TheScore. (2019). Vancouver Canucks @ Detroit Red Wings. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events/21863.