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Capitals at Oilers preview

Backstrom set to return for Washington; McDavid looks to provide scoring boost for Edmonton

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

CAPITALS (4-5-1) at OILERS (3-5-1)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN1, NBCSWA, NHL.TV


The Game  

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom will return to the lineup against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday after missing one game because of illness.

Backstrom has one assist in his past three games after having 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his previous five games for the Capitals, who have lost two straight and are 1-4-0 in their past five games after a 3-1-1 start.

The Oilers defeated the Dallas Stars 5-4 on Thursday, scoring more than three goals in a game for the first time this season. The victory ended a two-game losing streak for Edmonton, which is 2-1-1 in its past four games after opening the season 1-4-0.


Players to watch

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has two points (one goal, one assist) in his past five games after having 10 points (nine goals, one assist) in his first five games.

Oilers center Connor McDavid has scored in each of his past two games. He has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past seven games, and leads Edmonton in scoring with 10 points (five goals, five assists) in nine games.

They said it

"We have lots of new guys coming in, lots of rookies and lots of young guys, and they have to step it up. But the most inportant thing is the experienced guys and leaders have to step up in this moment and show their character and show how we can play and how we have to play." -- Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin

"Every night there is going to be a new guy coming in and you're going to go head-to-head against a star in the League, so that's exciting." -- Oilers center Connor McDavid on playing against Ovechkin

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

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Nathan Walker, Aaron Ness

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


Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Ryan Strome

Drake Caggiula -- Mark Letestu -- Zack Kassian

Jussi Jokinen -- Jujhar Khaira -- Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse -- Eric Gryba

Kris Russell -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Iiro Pakarinen, Kailer Yamamoto, Yohann Auvitu

Injured: Andrej Sekera (knee)


Status report

Peluso will play his first game of the season. He was recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Friday. ... Yamamoto will be a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game.


Stat pack

Kuznetsov has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past five games after having 10 assists in his first five games. … Jokinen will play in his 900th NHL game.

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