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Preview: Capitals at Stars

Defenseman John Carlson to miss third straight game for Washington; Dallas seeks consistency in offensive zone

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

CAPITALS (30-9-6) AT STARS (19-20-8)

8 p.m. ET; FS-SW, CSN-DC+, NHL Network, NHL.TV 


Capitals team scope

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson will miss his third straight game with a lower-body injury. Carlson took part in the morning skate, but didn't participate in line rushes or team drills. The Capitals are 10-0-1 in their past 11 games and 17-2-3 in their past 22, but haven't won at the Dallas Stars since a 6-5 overtime win on Oct. 25, 2008. Washington has not in regulation at Dallas since a 4-3 victory on Oct. 17, 1995. "We've got to get that off our list," coach Barry Trotz said. "Four or five presidents ago or something like that. It's been a long time." The Capitals have scored five goals or more in five straight games, outscoring opponents 30-13 in that span, and have scored seven goals in back-to-back games. Captain Alex Ovechkin has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in a six-game point streak and is two goals from tying Michel Goulet (548) for 28th place on the NHL all-time list. Defenseman Matt Niskanen, who was selected by the Stars with the 28th pick of the 2005 NHL Draft and played four seasons in Dallas, will play his 700th NHL game. "It's kind of cool if you look at it like that," Niskanen said. "Another fun storyline for us." Goaltender Philipp Grubauer will start and go for his sixth straight win. 


Stars team scope

The Dallas Stars are looking for offensive consistency after a 7-6 win at the New York Rangers on Tuesday and being shut out 3-0 by the New York Islanders on Thursday. "I think we've just got to look at each other and look at ourselves and really look in the mirror about what we want to do," center Cody Eakin said. "We need to play strong, play hard and we really need to take it upon ourselves to finish those chances. And some nights we just haven't been able to do that." Forwards Curtis McKenzie and Brett Ritchie each will be in the lineup against Washington, coach Lindy Ruff said. McKenzie has been a healthy scratch in eight straight games, and Ritchie was scratched in back-to-back games after playing the first 45 games this season. "They've played hard they worked hard," Ruff said. "When I'm talking winning battles, I might have to put bigger stronger players in to win battles. And Brett's been one of our best guys with possession, and so has Curtis. So you have two bigger stronger men on the puck, and we need to have it." Forward Tyler Seguin is one point from 400 in his NHL career. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen will make his second consecutive start and appear in his fifth straight game. He made 33 saves against the Islanders. 


Capitals projected lineup

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

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Andre Burakovsky

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Dmitry Orlov

Taylor Chorney -- Nate Schmidt

Philipp Grubauer

Braden Holtby 

Scratched: none

Injured: John Carlson (lower body)


Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Cody Eakin -- Patrick Eaves

Antoine Roussel -- Jason Spezza -- Tyler Seguin

Devin Shore -- Radek Faksa -- Patrick Sharp

Curtis McKenzie -- Adam Cracknell -- Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Patrik Nemeth -- Stephen Johns

Dan Hamhuis -- Jordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Lauri Korpikoski, Jiri Hudler, Julius Honka

Injured: Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Jamie Oleksiak (hand), Johnny Oduya (lower body)


Status report

The Stars placed Oduya on injured reserve and recalled Julius Honka from Texas of the American Hockey League on Friday. The Stars want Honka to watch a couple NHL games before he becomes a lineup option, Ruff said. 


Who's hot

Backstrom has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in an eight-game point streak. … Oshie has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his past six games. … Burakovsky has six points (three goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak. … Williams has four goals in a three-game goal streak. … Faksa has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in his past eight games.

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