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Canucks return home to face Capitals

by Brian Compton /

CAPITALS (5-6-0) at CANUCKS (8-4-1)


Last 10: Washington 5-5-0; Vancouver 6-3-1

Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Washington Capitals and Vancouver Canucks. They won’t face each other again until March 14 at Verizon Center.

Big story: Vancouver returns to Rogers Arena to begin a three-game homestand after going 5-1-1 on its seven-game road trip. The Canucks have won three in a row, with each game going past regulation. Washington is playing the fourth of a five-game road trip that concludes Friday at Philadelphia.

Team Scope:

Capitals: After earning victories in Winnipeg and Edmonton to start the road trip, Washington suffered a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. Jason Chimera and Aaron Volpatti scored for the Capitals, but coach Adam Oates pulled starting goalie Braden Holtby after the latter allowed three goals on 11 shots.

"That's Adam's call, it's what I respect," Holtby said of being lifted. "I'd like to finish every game that I play but at the same time, we haven't been addressing our starts as a group because we've been masking them with winning a few games."

Canucks: Vancouver made sure it was a pleasant flight home Friday night, when it closed out its long road trip with a 3-2 overtime victory against the St. Louis Blues. Ryan Kesler scored the game-winner via the power play at 4:45 of overtime, his second goal of the night, to lead the Canucks to their third straight victory.

"Throughout the trip, we won in different ways," Vancouver coach John Tortorella said. "We kept our composure.

"Day by day, it's a really good trip but you need to flat-line it here and just stay within ourselves and just keep on working as a team."

Who's Hot: Kesler’s overtime goal Friday was his seventh of the season. He has scored in three straight games and has four goals and three assists over the past four games. … Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has four goals and two assists in the past four.

Injury Report: Washington is without defenseman Jack Hillen (leg), who's on long-term injured reserve. … Vancouver is expected to be missing Jannik Hansen (upper body), Dale Weise (lower body), Alexandre Burrows (foot) and Jordan Schroeder (ankle).

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