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Preview: Maple Leafs at Capitals

Toronto looks for sixth straight win; Washington penalty kill hasn't allowed goal in seven games

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (17-12-7) at CAPITALS (22-9-5)

7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, TSN4, CSN-DC, NHL.TV


Maple Leafs team scope

Frederik Andersen will start in goal when the Toronto Maple Leafs look for their sixth straight win. They haven't won six straight since Dec. 6-16, 2014. The Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 in overtime in the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic on Sunday. Toronto defeated the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Nov. 26. "I think they've had a spring in their step for a while," coach Mike Babcock said of his team's play. "We just had the outdoor game, all those things, we've been winning, so that leads to that. Obviously they're going to want to play well. The whole key here is just do more by doing less. Take care of the puck. Don't try to fool anybody. There's not going to be a lot of space here tonight, so make sure you're getting through the neutral zone and be smart about it." Toronto has a 1-3-1 record in its past five games against Washington and its last road win in Washington was Feb. 5, 2013.


Capitals team scope

Braden Holtby will start his 29th game for the Capitals this season. Washington is second in the NHL in penalty killing percentage this season (87.3 percent), and has killed 29 consecutive penalties and 40 of 41 in the past 10 games, having not allowed a power-play goal in seven consecutive games. "We're working hard, guys are sacrificing a lot, guys are blocking a lot of shots," defenseman Karl Alzner said. "I know at the beginning of the year it didn't matter how much I thought I was in the lane, the puck wasn't hitting me and now pucks just seem to be gravitating towards myself but all the other guys too. You can see the last bunch of games we've had some huge blocked shots. I really think it's that we're getting some of the bounces now." Washington looks for its third straight win.


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- William Nylander

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Connor Brown

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Matt Martin -- Frederik Gauthier -- Nikita Soshnikov

Morgan Rielly -- Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner -- Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Antoine Bibeau

Scratched: Josh Leivo

Injured: Ben Smith (upper body), Martin Marincin (lower body)


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- Brett Connolly

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Taylor Chorney

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Nate Schmidt

Injured: None


Status report

Chorney will replace Schmidt in the Capitals lineup for a second consecutive game. Chorney scored the game-winning goal against the Ottawa Senators in a 2-1 win on Sunday. ... The Maple Leafs assigned defenseman Frank Corrado to Toronto of the American Hockey League on Monday. ... Forward Byron Froese was loaned to Toronto of the AHL on Monday.


Who's hot

Ovechkin has five points in five games (three goals, two assists). …Williams has five points in his past four games (two goals, three assists). ... Brown has seven points in five games (three goals, four assists). … Matthews has nine points (six goals) in his past six games.

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