Season Of The Shark - When the Sharks come to the District in January, expect the unexpected. When San Jose last visited Washington on Jan. 5, 2020, the Sharks seemed to have the game well in hand. Evander Kane notched a hat trick in the second period, and after a Logan Couture empty-netter gave the visitors a 4-2 lead with a minute remaining in regulation, it looked as though it was game over for the Caps.
For the first time this season, the Caps drew a blank on Monday night. Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner stopped all 34 Washington shots to hand the Caps their first shutout setback of the season, 1-0 to the Golden Knights. The whitewash is Lehner's first of the season, and the second of his career against the Capitals.
Pale Blue Monday - The Caps face the Vegas Golden Knights tonight at Capital One Arena in the middle match of a three-game homestand. Washington is coming off an uplifting 3-2 overtime win over Ottawa on Saturday night, a game in which it rallied back from an 2-0 third-period deficit to win 3-2 in overtime.
Comeback Story - Scoring the game's first goal hasn't been much of a boon for the Capitals of late; they're just 1-4-1 in the last half dozen games in which they've scored first. On Saturday night at Capital One Arena, they flipped the script again, and again they came out on top in overtime.
Nicklas Backstrom has had to be patient this season. The splendid Caps center spent the first third of the campaign rehabbing a hip ailment, a process that cost him to miss the first 28 games of the season. After playing in just one game, he landed in COVID-19 protocol and had to miss two more games before returning. And after playing his second and third games of the season, Backstrom came down with a non-COVID illness that sidelined him for the next three contests.
Day In Day Out - Winners of just two of their eight games (2-4-2) since the calendar turned to 2022, the Caps open up a three-game homestand on Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators. Home cooking hasn't been great for the Caps of late, either. They've won only two of their last seven games (2-4-1) at Capital One Arena, but will be seeking a second straight victory here after taking a 4-3 overtime win over Winnipeg on Tuesday in their most recent tilt here.