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Preview: Flames at Capitals

Calgary goaltender Brian Elliott going for 12th straight win; Washington looks to gain in Metropolitan Division race

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

FLAMES (41-27-4) at CAPITALS (46-17-8)

7 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, SNW, NHL.TV


Flames team scope

Calgary Flames goaltender Brian Elliott will attempt to set a franchise record with his 12th straight win and break a mark that has stood for 28 years. Elliott is 11-0-0 with two shutouts and 19 goals allowed in his past 11 starts, matching the mark set by Mike Vernon, who did it from Jan. 17-Feb. 27, 1989. "Anytime you're mentioned in the same sentence as a guy like Mike Vernon, it's an accomplishment," Elliott told the Calgary Sun after tying the record in a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. "It's pretty cool to be able to have [matched the record] … whether it's [forward Curtis] Lazar getting his first point or my tying a record, it's all about the team in here and that's what I love about it." The Flames are 12-1-0 in their past 13 games, hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, and are one point behind the Edmonton Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division. "It's going to be a heck of a game," coach Glen Gulutzan said of playing the Washington Capitals. "Our guys know that. [The Capitals are] the top team right now in the East, so it's going to be a real challenge for us, but we're looking forward to the game. I think it will be a real good game." The Flames will be without forward Matthew Tkachuk, who will serve the first game of his two-game suspension from the NHL Department of Player Safety for elbowing Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on Sunday.


Capitals team scope

The Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets each have 100 points, but Washington leads the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference based on goal differential (plus-69 to plus-64). The Capitals also lead the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins by one point. Washington clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday but are 2-4-1 in the past seven games after going 11-2-1 in the previous 14. "It's a tight division and there's going to be a battle until the end, the last game," said center Nicklas Backstrom, who has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in his past eight games. "I think the perfect scenario for us is we have to make sure we win. How else are we going to keep this first spot? We've got to make sure we're playing good hockey over the last [10] games here and stay at the right spot." Goaltender Braden Holtby will play in his 300th NHL game.


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Alex Chiasson

Sam Bennett -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Kris Versteeg -- Matt Stajan -- Troy Brouwer

Lance Bouma -- Freddie Hamilton -- Curtis Lazar

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Michael Stone

Matt Bartkowski -- Deryk Engelland

Brian Elliott

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Freddie Hamilton, Dennis Wideman, Rasmus Andersson

Injured: Micheal Ferland (illness)

Suspended: Matthew Tkachuk


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

Injured: None


Status report

Ferland did not travel with the Flames because he was exhibiting symptoms of the mumps; however, he has not been definitively diagnosed with the illness. ... Orpik took a maintenance day Monday but is expected to play.


Who's hot

Gaudreau has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in his past 13 games. Monahan has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past eight games. … Oshie has 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in his past 13 games.

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