Calgary Flames (1-1-1 3pts) v. Washington Capitals (3-0-1 7pts)
Time: 1p EST
Station: NBC Sports Washington, SportsNet West, NHL Network
It’s a Saturday afternoon matinee in the Nation’s Capital as the Washington Capitals will play host to the Calgary Flames. Both teams played on Thursday night as the Flames would shutout the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 and the Capitals would take down the New Jersey Devils 4-1.
For the Caps they continue to get scoring throughout their lineup and Evgeny Kuznetsov is still flying high as he had himself another multi-point (1g, 1a) night in the victory in New Jersey. Vitek Vanecek was in top form once again only giving up one goal to Devils, and making spectacular save after spectacular save for the Caps. Also for the second time the season the Caps game winning goal came from a defenseman as Dmitry Orlov would net the game winner in the first period. Anthony Mantha would get the scoring started for the Caps, and Daniel Sprong would also score for the Caps as the depth continues to contribute.
In Detroit the Flames would get lights out goaltending from Jacob Markstrom to earn the shut out over the Wings. Elias Lindholm would continue his goal streak to start the season as he would score in his third straight game as he would net the game winner in the first period. Andrew Mangiapane would net his second of the season, and Matthew Tkachuk would score his first of the season to clinch the victory for the Flames in the third period. Overall the best game for the Flames in this young 2021-22 season.
Johnny Gaudreau — Elias Lindholm — Matthew Tkachuk
Dillon Dube — Brett Ritchie — Andrew Mangiapane
Tyler Pitlick — Mikael Backlund — Blake Coleman
Milan Lucic — Sean Monahan — Trevor Lewis
Noah Hanifin — Rasmus Andersson
Oliver Kylington — Christopher Tanev
Juuso Valimaki — Erik Gudbranson
Scratched: Glenn Gawdin, Nikita Zadorov
Injured: Brad Richardson (lower body)
COVID-19 protocol: Michael Stone
Keys to the Game:
- Build off of their Momentum
- After struggling in their first two games, the Flames picked up a huge win over Detroit last night to earn their first win of the season. The Flames will be coming to Washington looking to build off of that momentum. The Flames are a tough team to play against, and they definitely compete every shift. Their win gives them that confidence to build on that momentum.
- Need to Wake up the Powerplay
- The Flames are an abysmal 1 for 9 on the powerplay so far this season, and if they look to defeat the Caps they will need to draw penalties and get on the board with their powerplay. They have the talent to make it happen, but they just haven’t been able to make it click.
- Out Work the Caps 5v5
- The Flames will also need to outwork the Caps at even strength. The Caps haven’t scored on the powerplay since opening night, but they have been a force to reckon with at 5v5. The Flames will need to contain the Capitals depth otherwise it could be a long night.
Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson
Anthony Mantha — Lars Eller — Daniel Sprong
Conor Sheary — Connor McMichael — T.J. Oshie
Carl Hagelin — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway
Martin Fehervary — John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Trevor van Riemsdyk — Justin Schultz
Scratched: Hendrix Lapierre, Dennis Cholowski, Matt Irwin
Injured: Nicklas Backstrom (hip)
Keys to the Game:
- Get the Powerplay Clicking
- Last night in New Jersey the Caps had three powerplay opportunities, and all three of them were squandered by the Caps. Partly because the Devils played a very aggressive, but also because the Caps powerplay is way too predictable. The Capitals need to get their powerplay back on track like the way it was on opening night.
- Continue Getting Better in the Faceoff Circle
- The Capitals were an impressive 56% in the faceoff circle last night against the Devils, and it’s a positive trend upwards for the Caps since opening night. The Capitals will need to continue this improvement against the Flames who were 51% successful against Detroit last night.
- Get VV the Shutout
- The League may not be ready for it, but Caps fans are. Vitek Vanecek has been spectacular in all three games he’s started and is due for a shutout that he has been denied of twice so far this season. The Caps need to continue to play a very tight, structured game around him so he can earn his first shutout of the season, and third of his career.