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Sharks hope to keep perfect penalty kill vs. Capitals

by Katie Brown

SHARKS (2-0-0) at CAPITALS (1-0-0)


WASHINGTON -- The San Jose Sharks have been perfect on the penalty kill so far this season and hope to continue that trend when they play the Washington Capitals on Tuesday at Verizon Center in the first stop on their four-game East Coast trip.

The Sharks are 7-for-7 on the penalty kill through two games.

Washington had the top-ranked power play in the NHL last season. They boast one of the biggest offensive threats in the League on the man-advantage in Alex Ovechkin, who scored a League-high 25 of his 53 goals on the power play in 2014-15.

"We spent a little extra time on it today just because of how dangerous Washington's power play is, how different it is than most power plays," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "Obviously the Ovechkin factor with him sitting out there is something we wanted to talk about."

Ovechkin was listed as a game-time decision by the Capitals after he missed their morning skate because of personal reasons.

Rookie forward Stanislav Galiev skated in Ovechkin's spot on a line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie during the morning skate, but that grouping isn't guaranteed to be together during the game. If Galiev plays, it most likely would be on the fourth line.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he would shuffle the line combinations if Ovechkin did not play Tuesday, and that could include moving forward Marcus Johansson to the top-line left wing spot.

"It changes a lot of things when you have one of the best players in the world that's possible for the game," Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon said. "I think even if [Ovechkin] is out we're going to have our hands full. They've got a lot of talent on this team and we have to respect that talent and how good they are."

Regardless of Ovechkin's status Tuesday, DeBoer said he won't alter the game plan much. The Sharks still will have to contend with the depth of the Capitals' forward group at even strength and on the power play.

"Even if he's not in we can't take a deep breath and relax here," DeBoer said. "That's a very deep team offensively over there. I'm not hoping that he's out, but we still have to respect the fact that they have a lot of other weapons over there."

Here are the projected lineups:


Joonas Donskoi - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Joel Ward

Matt Nieto - Tomas Hertl - Tommy Wingels

Barclay Goodrow - Chris Tierney - Mike Brown

Paul Martin - Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon - Matt Tennyson

Martin Jones

Alex Stalock

Injured: None

Scratched: Dylan DeMelo, Ben Smith


Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson - Andre Burakovsky - Justin Williams

Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Brooks Laich - Michael Latta - Sean Collins

Brooks Orpik - John Carlson

Matt Niskanen - Karl Alzner

Nate Schmidt - Dmitry Orlov

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Injured: Nicklas Backstrom (hip), Chris Brown (hand)

Scratched: Stanislav Galiev, Taylor Chorney

Status update: Backstrom skated Monday without a blue non-contact jersey but has not yet been cleared to play. He is expected to meet with doctors later this week.

Who's hot: Carlson will play in his 400th NHL game Tuesday, all with the Capitals. … Niskanen reached 200 points Saturday against the New Jersey Devils. … Jones had his first shutout with the Sharks against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. … Marleau leads the Sharks with two goals.

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