FLAMES (7-4-2) at CAPITALS (4-5-2)
TV: SNW, CSN-DC
Season series: The Washington Capitals won 3-1 against the Calgary Flames in the first game between the teams on Oct. 25. Joel Ward had two goals and Braden Hotlby made 20 saves for Washington. Alex Ovechkin did not score in the game, but he has eight goals and 15 points in nine career games against the Flames.
Flames team scope: Calgary is 2-0-1 since losing to Washington, and the Flames have two regulation losses in their past 10 games (6-2-2). Expected to finish at or near the bottom of the Western Conference, the Flames are currently fourth in the West and have the fifth-best goal differential in the NHL. What they don't have often enough is the puck, at least to believe this can continue without some improvement in that area. Calgary is 28th in the League in Corsi for percentage at even strength, and the Flames are producing 43.22 percent of the shot attempts. New goalie Jonas Hiller has been great in eight starts (.938 save percentage) but that is far greater than his career average and he's been below .915 in each of the past three seasons.
Capitals team scope: The game at the Saddledome was the last time Washington won a game. The Capitals have lost four straight and allowed at least four goals in each defeat. They are on the positive side in puck possession at even strength over the ledger of the losing streak, and are still among the League leaders in limiting shot attempts, but more of them are going in of late. It's been a variety of issues. One night it was a couple of ghastly turnovers. Another Holtby shouldered the blame for letting in a couple of bad goals. After blowing a two-goal lead to the Arizona Coyotes in a 6-5 loss at home Sunday, new coach Barry Trotz intimated changes could be coming to the lineup if the situation with goal prevention does not improve.