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Rare matchup pits Flames against Capitals

by Sergei J. Feldman
CAPITALS (6-4-0) at FLAMES (6-4-0)


Season series --
This is the first and only meeting between the two clubs on the season. The two teams met late last season. Calgary defeated Washington, 5-3. Five different players scored for Calgary. Alex Ovechkin and two power-play goals highlighted Washington’s scoring.

Big Story --
Calgary is coming off a wild 6-5 loss against the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night that ended the team's three-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Washington was upset by Minnesota, 2-1, Thursday night and is looking to find its form to close out the first month of the season.

Team Scope:

Capitals -- After starting the season winning four of their first five games, the Capitals have since gone 2-3. Led by Ovechkin and his 10 points in 10 games, the Capitals have been getting steady production up and down the lineup, as seven players have scored at least 2 goals.

Flames -- The middle of October served Calgary well, as the Flames won five out of six in a recent stretch before falling to the Avalanche Thursday night.

"Our best players -- outside of [Olli Jokinen] -- weren't very good, bottom line," coach Brent Sutter said after the loss. "You give up six goals in the NHL, you’re not going to win very many games. When you've got a 3-1 lead in your own building with that much time left, you nail it down. Good teams, that’s why they do."

Still, the Flames sit atop the Northwest Division with 12 points.

Who’s hot --
Rene Bourque is in the midst of a four-game scoring streak, including 5 goals and a hat trick in that span.

Injury report --
Semyon Varlamov, Tom Poti and Boyd Gordon remain on the IR for Washington, while Marcus Johansson is questionable for Saturday’s Flames game, while Calgary hasn’t sustained any recent injuries.

Stat pack --
Ovechkin and Alexander Semin have both tallied 5 goals in 10 games for the Capitals on offense, while Michal Neuvirth has played strong in net with a 2.16 goals-against average and .926 save percentage.

Puck drop -- "I'm not buying any of this excuse about being fatigued, emotionally or physically," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said after Washington's recent loss. "So I'm just not very happy with what happened."

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