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Preview: Flames vs. Capitals

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CAPITALS (3-0-1) at FLAMES (1-4-0)

TV: SN 360, CSN-DC

Season series: This is the first of two games between the Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames. They haven't played against each other since Sean Monahan scored in overtime to give the Flames a 4-3 win at Verizon Center on Nov. 4, 2014. Joel Ward score twice, including the game-winner, to push the Capitals to a 3-1 win at Scotiabank Saddledome on Oct. 25, 2014.

Capitals team scope: After a four-game homestand to begin the season, Washington embarks on a three-game trip to Western Canada. Capitals coach Barry Trotz indicated backup goalie Washington is coming off back-to-back 4-1 victories against the Chicago Blackhawks last Thursday and the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday after a 5-0 loss against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 13. The Capitals' third line of Jay Beagle, Jason Chimera and Tom Wilson is taking pride in shutting down the opposition's top units. "There is times when you sense that frustration," Beagle said Monday, according to The Washington Post. "That's when you know you're doing your job, just trying to play their top guys hard. It's always been a goal to play in this role for me. I'm definitely not going to take it for granted. I'm trying to give it everything I have to stay in that third-line center position, and by doing that, I've got to shut down their top lines." Washington’s power-play ranks second with five goals in 13 opportunities.

Flames team scope: After suffering a third straight loss, coach Bob Hartley altered his top two lines by switching right wing Jiri Hudler from the top unit with Michael Frolik to skate alongside Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. "They're really skilled guys, but we've got to make sure that we play good defence. That's where it all starts," Frolik told the Flames website. "Like every game, I'm with someone else, but we're trying to find the chemistry now and hopefully it'll be in the next game. You want to play good defence, but you want to create some offence too. Just be careful, make sure we've got a third guy high always. Be on the forecheck. Be smart with the puck, no bad turnovers. Just play it simple. Make sure that we're on the same page and make sure we don't give up any odd-man rushes. We gave up a lot of scoring chances and we need to cut those down. That's where it starts." Hartley announced that goalie Kari Ramo will make his third start of the season. Forwards Sam Bennett (upper body) and Joe Colborne (thumb) participated in line rushes in practice Monday, but Hartley said they are game-time decisions.

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