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Preview: Ducks at Capitals

Washington goalie Braden Holtby goes for his 14th straight win; Anaheim continues six-game road trip

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

DUCKS (29-17-10) at CAPITALS (38-11-6)

7:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, CSN-DC, NHL.TV

 

Ducks team scope

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson, who made 22 saves in a 5-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, is expected to start in the fifth game of a six-game road trip. Anaheim is two points behind the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division with 68 points and leads the third-place Edmonton Oilers by two points. "We're looking for our offense to wake up 5-on-5," coach Randy Carlyle said Friday. "We have to score more goals 5-on-5. It's as simple as that. You can't continually survive on a one-goal or two-goal output without having a major contribution from your power play. That puts a lot of pressure on everybody. So our mandate is to play a tighter defensive brand and execute with the puck more. We've done that in the last two games. We feel we've been pretty good. But we're playing a different animal [Saturday]."

 

Capitals team scope

Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a hand injury. Zach Sanford will play in Burakovsky's spot on the third line. Washington may recall another forward after its bye week, which runs Sunday through Friday. "The break is mandatory," coach Barry Trotz said. "What we learned is that we've got to build our game after the break. We'll probably come out and teams will be playing. We'll get right into it with a back-to-back, which isn't easy, and we're going to have to build our game. We can't just come right back to it. I think we've got a good mindset there." Washington has an eight-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference and leads the NHL with 82 points. The Capitals have won five consecutive games, and are 18-2-1 in their past 21 games. At Verizon Center, Washington has won 11 straight games, scored five or more goals in 10 straight and is 23-5-1 this season. Goaltender Braden Holtby, 13-0-0 with four shutouts in his past 15 games, will start.

 

Ducks projected lineup

Antoine Vermette -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Rickard Rakell -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Logan Shaw

Joseph Cramarossa -- Nate Thompson -- Jared Boll

Cam Fowler -- Brandon Montour

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Shea Theodore -- Kevin Bieksa

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Ondrej Kase, Korbinian Holzer

Injured: Sami Vatanen (lower body), Clayton Stoner (lower body), Simon Despres (upper body)

 

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Zach Sanford

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Taylor Chorney

Injured: Andre Burakovsky (hand)

 

Status report

Burakovsky is expected to be out until mid-March. "He'll do some skating," Trotz said. "He won't do that probably for the first week. He won't be skating with a stick for a while but we'll get him on the ice. He'll have the opportunity to work his core and his legs for a month here." ... Vatanen skated Friday but there is no timetable for his return.

 

Who's hot

Perry had two goals and one assist against Buffalo. ... Backstrom has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in a six-game point streak and has 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) in his past 18 games. ... Kuznetsov has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in his past 13 games. ... Johansson has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past three games. ... Ovechkin has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in his past 16 games.

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