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Preview: Coyotes at Capitals

Washington goes for fourth-straight win; Shane Doan likely out again for Arizona

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

COYOTES (27-38-9) at CAPITALS (48-17-8)

7 p.m. ET; FS-A, CSN-DC+, NHL.TV

 

Coyotes team scope

The Arizona Coyotes are 1-3-1 in their past five games since a three-game winning streak and play the fourth game of a five-game road trip against the Washington Capitals. "They've been considered one of the elite Stanley Cup contenders," coach Dave Tippett said. "Real good challenge for our young players, real good challenge to make sure our veterans play well and try to stabilize our group. We'll see what we get." Goaltender Mike Smith is expected to start. Smith is 1-3-1 in his past five games with 12 goals allowed and a .927 save percentage. Captain Shane Doan is expected to miss his fifth consecutive game with a lower-body injury.

 

Capitals team scope

The Capitals lead the Pittsburgh Penguins by one point and the Columbus Blue Jackets by three points in the Metropolitan Division, Eastern Conference and NHL with 104 points entering play Saturday. Washington is on a three-game winning streak following a 2-1 shootout win against the Blue Jackets on Thursday which ended a 1-4-1 stretch in its previous six games. "I think looking at all nine of these (remaining) games, until we can secure our spot that we would like, they're all must-wins," coach Barry Trotz said. "I can't tell you one that would not be. These ones when you're playing a team you feel that is young and maybe not as experienced, you worry about the readiness but I think we recognize the situation and it'll be on the players. We have no room to let anybody steal points at our arena at any time right now." Braden Holtby, who is 4-0-1 with 10 goals allowed in his past five games, will start in goal. Captain Alex Ovechkin is two goals (554) from tying Johnny Bucyk for 26th place on the NHL's goal scoring list.

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Brendan Perlini -- Jordan Martinook -- Tobias Rieder

Max Domi -- Christian Dvorak -- Radim Vrbata

Jamie McGinn -- Peter Holland -- Anthony Duclair

Lawson Crouse -- Josh Jooris -- Jamie McGinn

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Luke Schenn

Alex Goligoski -- Connor Murphy

Jakob Chychrun -- Zbynek Michalek

Mike Smith

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Anthony DeAngelo, Teemu Pulkkinen, Christian Fischer

Injured: Brad Richardson (broken leg), Kevin Connauton (upper body), Shane Doan (lower body), Alexander Burmistrov (concussion)

 

Capitals projected lineup

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

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Andre Burakovsky

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Nate Schmidt, Paul Carey

Injured: none

 

Status report

Washington recalled forward Paul Carey from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League on Friday.

 

Who's hot

Backstrom has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in his past six games. … Oshie has six points (four goals, two assists) in his past three games. … Ovechkin has six points (two goals, four assists) in six games. … Ekman-Larsson has three points (two goals, one assist) in his past three games.

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