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Capitals at Flames preview

Washington could start backup Grubauer; Calgary, minus Jagr, looking for rare home win

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

CAPITALS (5-5-1) at FLAMES (5-6-0)

9 p.m. ET; SN360, NBCSWA, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Calgary Flames will be without forward Jaromir Jagr for a fourth straight game when they host the Washington Capitals at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

Jagr sustained a lower-body injury in a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 21.

Calgary is 1-4-0 at home, including a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Friday in the opener of a season-long seven-game homestand. The Flames have lost back-to-back games and are 1-4-0 in their past five after a 4-2-0 start.

Philipp Grubauer, who is 0-2-1 with a 4.68 goals-against average and an .850 save percentage, could start for the Capitals after Braden Holtby made 38 saves in a 5-2 win at the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Washington is 2-4-0 in its past six games after starting the season 3-1-1.

 

Players to watch

Washington forward Alex Ovechkin has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 14 career games against the Flames. He has 15 points (10 goals, five assists) in 11 games this season.

Goaltender Mike Smith has started 10 of 11 games for the Flames; he has a 2.44 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage with one shutout.

 

They said it

"[Sunday is] another big one. I don't think we have good success this year on back-to-backs, so it's going to be a big test for us." -- Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin

"You'd like to win all of them, to be honest, at home. You'd like to get this one and get rolling. We feel we haven't been assertive enough at home. We've been feeling almost more pressure at home than on the road and that shouldn't be the case." -- Flames defenseman Mark Giordano

 

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Jakub Vrana -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Chandler Stephenson -- Lars Eller -- Tom Wilson

Anthony Peluso -- Jay Beagle -- Alex Chiasson

Christian Djoos -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Madison Bowey

Dmitry Orlov -- Taylor Chorney

Philipp Grubauer

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Nathan Walker, Aaron Ness

Injured: Matt Niskanen (upper body), Tyler Graovac (upper body), Andre Burakovsky (upper body), Brett Connolly (concussion)

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Micheal Ferland

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Sam Bennett -- Mark Jankowski -- Kris Versteeg

Tanner Glass -- Matt Stajan -- Troy Brouwer

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Travis Hamonic

Brett Kulak -- Michael Stone

Mike Smith

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Freddie Hamilton, Curtis Lazar, Matt Bartkowski

Injured: Jaromir Jagr (lower body)

 

Status report

The Capitals did not skate Sunday, and the Flames held an optional skate. … Backstrom returned to the lineup against the Oilers after missing one game because of illness.

 

Stat pack

Kuznetsov has three goals in his past two games. ... Bowey has three assists in his past two games. … Gaudreau has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past six games. ... Tkachuk has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past three games.

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