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At the Rink: Capitals at Bruins

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- The Washington Capitals are going to rely on a familiar strategy in an attempt to end their first two-game losing streak of the season against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, CSN-DC, NESN): They're going to start goaltender Braden Holtby.

The Capitals are 0-1-1 in their past two games.

Holtby is 8-2-0 in his career against the Bruins with a 1.52 goals-against average and .954 save percentage. He also led the Capitals to a seven-game series win against Boston in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

"Things like that, you could look into them, but there really isn't much evidence," said Holtby, who leads the NHL in wins with 24 and has a 1.92 GAA and .932 save percentage. "Teams change every year, circumstances change. Tonight's a different game. Just because we've had success in the past doesn't mean we'll have it tonight by doing easy things. We'll have to focus on what's made us successful this year and what we think can make us successful against a very good team in the Boston Bruins."

The Bruins are also trying to get back on track. Their 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was their fourth loss in five games. Center Joonas Kemppainen should return from missing 11 games since he sustained an upper-body injury Dec. 7. In 24 games, Kemppainen has one goals and two assists, and he has won 52.3 percent of his faceoffs.

"He's a big body, but he's also very smart on the ice," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. "I think that's definitely what he's going to bring. Faceoffs also, he's always been very good for us on the draws. So that's going to help us in that matter and just give us the depth that we always like to have."

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex OvechkinNicklas BackstromT.J. Oshie

Andre BurakovskyEvgeny KuznetsovJustin Williams

Jason ChimeraMarcus JohanssonTom Wilson

Brooks LaichZach SillStanislav Galiev

Matt NiskanenKarl Alzner

Dmitry OrlovNate Schmidt

Aaron NessTaylor Chorney

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Injured: Brooks Orpik (lower body), John Carlson (lower body), Jay Beagle (upper body)

Scratched: Michael Latta, Ryan Stanton


Loui ErikssonPatrice BergeronBrett Connolly

Matt BeleskeyRyan SpoonerLandon Ferraro

Frank VatranoJoonas KemppainenJimmy Hayes

Zac RinaldoMax TalbotTyler Randell

Zdeno CharaZach Trotman

Dennis SeidenbergColin Miller

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Jonas Gustavsson

Injured: David Krejci (upper body), Chris Kelly (broken femur)

Scratched: Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow

Status report: Galiev replaces Latta after being a healthy scratch for nine games. "He's practiced really well," coach Barry Trotz said. "He deserves to be in. He gives us a lot more speed at the forward position. I think that's an area where we can be a pretty quick team and push the pace in the game." … Carlson skated on his own Monday and is day-to-day, although he won't play Tuesday. Orpik might skate later in the road trip. … The Bruins assigned forward David Pastrnak to Providence of the American Hockey League on Monday. Originally Pastrnak was to rejoin Boston after playing for the Czech Republic in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. "Really, the only decision was he didn't arrive until [Monday] afternoon. Had him checked out, and he'll skate today, and we'll reevaluate," general manager Don Sweeney said. When Kemppainen is activated the Bruins' roster will be at the 23-man limit.

Who’s hot: Holtby is 16-0-2 in his past 18 decisions. … Beleskey has four goals and one assist during a four-game point streak.

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