CAPITALS (47-13-4) at BRUINS (36-23-6)
TV: 7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CITY, CSN-DC, NESN
BOSTON - The Boston Bruins will attempt to defeat the Washington Capitals for the first time in six games Saturday at TD Garden.
One constant in the Capitals' five straight wins against Boston has been goaltender Braden Holtby, who is 9-2-0 with three shutouts, a .952 save percentage and 1.57 goals-against average against the Bruins. However, Philipp Grubauer is expected to start for Washington.
Regardless of the goalie in the opposing net, though, the Bruins know they have to play better than they have in past matchups with the Capitals. The Bruins last beat Washington March 29, 2014.
"I think the biggest thing is your approach to the game," said Bruins coach Claude Julien, whose team will attempt to win three straight at home for the second time this season. "Are the guys ready to play hard like they did the other night [a 4-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday]? It's more about that than anything else. When you say this team is giving us some issues, well, I don't think we've played our best against them, either. This is an opportunity tonight to play better."
A 4-2 win against the Western Conference-leading Blackhawks on Thursday might have been the perfect setup for the Bruins to face the NHL-leading Capitals. There were many things Boston did in that game that can be carried over.
"I think our attention to detail was pretty good for the most part," defenseman Adam McQuaid said. "We supported one another and moved the puck pretty well, I thought. So those are areas where we want to continue to improve on. It makes a big difference when you can make plays and hang on to the puck vs. having turnovers or just getting puck out for the sake of getting it out and having the other team gain possession again."
The Capitals, who have won seven of their past 10 games, did not hold a morning skate after after their 3-2 home loss against the New York Rangers on Friday. Washington is the only team in the NHL to not lose consecutive games in regulation this season.
Here are the projected lineups:
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Jason Chimera - Marcus Johansson - Tom Wilson
Daniel Winnik - Mike Richards - Jay Beagle
Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Dmitry Orlov
Mike Weber - Nate Schmidt
Injured: John Carlson (lower body)
Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Stanislav Galiev, Michael Latta
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Lee Stempniak
Matt Beleskey - David Krejci - David Pastrnak
Loui Eriksson - Ryan Spooner - Jimmy Hayes
Landon Ferraro - Noel Acciari - Brett Connolly
Zdeno Chara - Kevan Miller
Torey Krug - Dennis Seidenberg
John-Michael Liles - Adam McQuaid
Injured: Chris Kelly (broken femur)
Scratched: Tyler Randell, Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman
Status report: Schmidt is expected to be back in the Capitals lineup after missing two games with a lower-body injury.
Who's hot: Kuznetsov has five goals and 12 points in his past 11 games. ... Bergeron has six goals and 11 points in his past 10 games. His two-point game against the Blackhawks on Thursday was his team-leading 13th multi-point game of the season.