Washington Capitals (10-2-3) vs Calgary Flames (7-6-2)
|Predicted Goaltender||Record||GAA / SV% / # SO|
|Washington Capitals||Ilya Samsonov||4-1-0||2.46 / .913% / 0|
|Calgary Flames||Cam Talbot||1-2-0||2.46 / .908% / 0|
Tonight, the Washington Capitals will take on the Calgary Flames in their second of three meetings this season. Prior to puck drop, there will be a pregame celebration to congratulate the Washington Nationals to celebrate their very first World Series Championship win in franchise history. On October 22, 2019, the Caps’ beat the Flames 5-3 on the road, with two goals coming from defenseman John Carlson. Since that game, Carlson has tallied two more goals, and one assist. Less ideally, the Flames have lost two, and won two, with both wins coming in overtime or the shootout.
On Friday night, the Capitals kicked off the month by dominantly defeating the Buffalo Sabres, 6-1. For the Sabres, this match was a litmus test of sorts, to see just how good they are to start the season. Buffalo, sitting in third place heading into Friday’s match, with the second best power play overall, had started off the 2019-20 season similarly to last season. However, it took less than 10 minutes for Buffalo to realize they definitely have some work to do. Four goals were scored in just four minutes, two of which came off the stick of Jakub Vrana. Chandler Stephenson’s second goal of the season came 42 seconds after Vrana’s 5th, and his 6th came two and a half minutes after that. #13 Jakub Vrana’s first goal, assisted by #43 Tom Wilson came with 13:43 remaining in the period. Brendan Leipsic’s speed and impressive puck-handling finally paid off, as he scored his first goal of the season one minute and fifteen seconds after Vrana’s second. Buffalo received one power play during the first period, but the Capitals’ improved penalty kill kept them off the board. Both the Capitals’ penalty kill and power play are 5th overall, as they have killed off 85.7% of penalties taken, and are operating at 25% efficiency on the power play. Washingtons’ special teams are much improved over last seasons’ numbers (TheScore, Washington). Henri Jokiharju scored his first, and ultimately the only goal for Buffalo, just over halfway through the game, but six minutes later, Tom Wilson scored his 5th goal, re-establishing the Caps’ 4-goal lead. TJ Oshie, at the 13:43 mark, scored his 8th of the season, all but guaranteeing the Capitals’ 10th win of the season. Braden Holtby tallied his 5th win in 6 starts, stopping 29 of 30 shots faced, allowing the fewest number of goals in all 11 starts. Holtby ended the night with a .967 SV%, but backup Ilya Samsonov, who has only one loss in 5 starts, it expected to start versus the Calgary Flames (TheScore, Buffalo Sabres).
The Calgary Flames played last night, as they shutout the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0. Goals in each period gave the Flames their 8th, and second consecutive, win of the season. Sean Monahan scored just under four minutes into the first period, a goal that would be the eventual game winning goal. Calgary did have two power play opportunities, but they were unable to convert on either. Sam Bennett added to the Flames 1-0 lead in the second, and Matthew Tkachuk scored his 7th goal of the season, an empty net goal, completing the shutout for Calgary. Elias Lindholm, who leads his team in goals, registered two assists last night, and has goals in the last three games of October, versus Winnipeg, Carolina, and Nashville (NHL.com). He also scored against the Capitals back on October 22nd. Columbus peppered Rittich with 43 shots on goal, but the veteran goaltender stopped every single one. Despite that perfect showing by Rittich, Cam Talbot is expected to start tonight, the second night in a back-to-back for the Flames.
Nic Dowd (DTD, lower body) and Richard Panik (LTIR, upper body) skated prior to Caps’ official practice yesterday, which seems to be a step in the right direction. The Calgary Flames are still without Austin Czarnik (DL, lower body) and Juuso Valimaki (IR-NR, knee).
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.
NHL.com. (2019). Elias Lindholm Stats and News. Retrieved from https://www.nhl.com/player/elias-lindholm-8477496.
TheScore. (2019). Buffalo Sabres @ Washington Capitals. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events/21923/.
TheScore. (2019). Washington Capitals News and Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/15.