Skip to main content

At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Capitals

by Katie Brown / NHL.com

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has seven goals through 11 games this season but has yet to score on the power play.

Ovechkin, who is one goal from tying Sergei Fedorov for the most by a Russian-born player (483), scored an NHL-leading 25 of his 53 goals last season on the power play and has led the League in power-play goals the past three seasons. This season, he has one point on the power play, an assist in the season opener Oct. 10 against the New Jersey Devils.

The Capitals play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at Verizon Center (7 p.m. ET; CBC, CSN-DC+).

While it seems uncharacteristic for Ovechkin to not be the one scoring at will on the power play, forward T.J. Oshie and defenseman John Carlson are just as capable at scoring on the man advantage as Ovechkin, and he's fine with that. Oshie and Carlson each have two power-play goals this season.

"We have so many options out there and we just have to find the one and it's going to work," Ovechkin said. "It doesn't matter if it's going to be me or [Carlson] or [Oshie] or Niskanen. We just have to find the right one and put it in."

Washington's power play broke a four-game goal drought Thursday against the Boston Bruins, a streak that spanned 10 attempts. Carlson scored on the man-advantage and the Capitals won 4-1.

Ovechkin attracts a lot of attention on the power play, and he's content to draw defenders away so that one of his teammates can score.

"Everybody else benefits from him," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "Unselfishly, he'll go further away from the net to drag someone away from someone else. He doesn't get frustrated with it. He just gets frustrated if he gets a good look and maybe misses the net or has the goalie down and doesn't execute. He'll take all the shadowing or all the people standing next to him so that other people score."

The Maple Leafs did not hold a morning skate Saturday after losing 2-1 in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.

Goaltender James Reimer is expected to start in goal for Toronto. He made 22 saves against the Red Wings.

Here are the projected lineups:

MAPLE LEAFS

James Van Riemsdyk - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

Shawn Matthias - Tyler Bozak - PA Parenteau

Daniel Winnik - Nick Spaling - Joffrey Lupul

Michael Grabner - Byron Froese - Brad Boyes

Jake Gardiner - Dion Phaneuf

Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly

Scott Harrington - Roman Polak

James Reimer

Antoine Bibeau

Injured: Jonathan Bernier (lower body), Stephane Robidas (lower body)

Scratched: Frank Corrado, Martin Marincin, Peter Holland

CAPITALS

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Andre Burakovsky

Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Justin Williams

Brooks Laich - Michael Latta - Tom Wilson

Brooks Orpik - John Carlson

Matt Niskanen - Karl Alzner

Dmitry Orlov - Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Injured: Chris Brown (hand)

Scratched: Chandler Stephenson, Taylor Chorney

Status update: The Capitals sent forward Stanislav Galiev to Hershey of the American League for a conditioning assignment.

Who's hot: Kuznetsov has 14 points in 12 games … Ovechkin has 14 points in 12 games. … Bozak has two points in his past two games.

View More