Skip to main content

Capitals-Thrashers Preview @NHLdotcom

With the race for the best record in the Eastern Conference over, the Washington Capitals are trying maintain their hold on second place.

The Capitals begin their season-ending three-game road trip looking to sweep a home-and-home set from the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night.

Washington (48-23-8) has clinched its second consecutive Southeast Division title, but lost the battle for the top seed in the Eastern Conference to Boston. The Capitals' focus now is on holding onto the second spot, as they're two points ahead of New Jersey.

The Capitals visit Tampa Bay on Thursday before finishing the regular season at Florida on Saturday.

Washington improved its chances for the No. 2 seed Sunday, winning 6-4 over Atlanta (34-39-6) behind four third-period goals.

The Caps have won three of four while scoring at least five goals in each victory, although they didn't get a goal from Alexander Ovechkin on Sunday. Instead, six of his teammates found the back of the net, while Ovechkin came up empty on 11 shots.

"It's great to finally have some scoring from all over the place," said Washington right wing Eric Fehr, who scored for only the second time in 17 games. "Ovie's been carrying the workload pretty much all year."

Ovechkin did extend his point streak to eight games with two assists against the Thrashers. The All-Star left wing has six goals and 11 assists in that span, and leads the NHL with 55 goals. He's second with 106 points, two behind Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin.

Ovechkin will try to close that gap Tuesday. He has 23 goals and 47 points versus the Thrashers - his highest totals against any team.

Ovechkin has 14 goals and 11 assists in 14 games at Philips Arena, but has been held without a point in two games there this season - both losses.

Washington was outscored 12-5 in those road defeats to the Thrashers, but won the other three meetings at home.

Atlanta is looking to rebound from Sunday's loss that snapped a four-game winning streak. Three of the victories came against playoff contenders.

"We kept up for two periods," Thrashers defenseman Tobias Enstrom said, "and it seemed like we got a little tired in the third and they ran us down a little bit."

The Thrashers may be eliminated from playoff contention, but Ilya Kovalchuk continues his hot play. The All-Star left wing has a goal in six of the last seven games, and 21 goals and 19 assists in the last 23. He's been held without a point only three times in that stretch.

Kovalchuk is fourth in the league behind Ovechkin with 42 goals and scored a goal in each of the last two meetings with Washington.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.