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game preview

Capitals at Oilers preview

Washington goes for fifth straight win; Edmonton looks to avoid third consecutive shutout

by Derek Van Diest / Independent Correspondent

CAPITALS (7-2-2) at OILERS (7-2-1)

9 p.m. ET; SN1, NBCSWA, NHL.TV 


The Game

The Washington Capitals will try for their fifth straight win when they visit the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Thursday.

Goalie Braden Holtby will make his fourth consecutive start for Washington, which has outscored opponents 19-11 during its winning streak.

Goalie Mikko Koskinen, who is 4-0-0 this season, will start for Edmonton, which has been shut out in each of its past two games after starting the season 7-1-0. The Oilers have never been shut out in three straight games.


Players to watch

Capitals defenseman John Carlson leads the NHL in scoring with 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 11 games. Carlson is on an eight-game point streak (five goals, 12 assists). A nine-games streak would be the longest by a defenseman in team history.

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 10 games but does not have a point in his past two games. Draisaitl scored 50 goals last season and finished second to Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (51) for the most in the League.


They said it

"Everybody knew he was a skilled guy, he's our top 'D'. He's playing big minutes like always and he's just feeling it. It seems like everything he's tried to do is working and it's good for us." -- Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin on defenseman John Carlson

"We need to get more pucks to the net, sustain some more O-zone time. I think we're a lot of one-and-done right now. That comes from the forecheck, it comes from shooting the puck and getting it back, all those things." -- Oilers captain Connor McDavid on Edmonton being shut out in its past two games


Capitals projected lineup 

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

Carl Hagelin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Lars Eller -- Garnet Hathaway

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Chandler Stephenson

Michal Kempny -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Jonas Siegenthaler -- Radko Gudas

Braden Holtby

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: Tyler Lewington, Travis Boyd  

Injured: Richard Panik (upper body)


Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Zack Kassian

Alex Chiasson -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- James Neal

Jujhar Khaira -- Riley Sheahan -- Josh Archibald

Patrick Russell -- Markus Granlund -- Sam Gagner

Oscar Klefbom -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Brandon Manning -- Matt Benning

Mikko Koskinen

Mike Smith

Scratched: William Lagesson, Tomas Jurco

Injured: Adam Larsson (leg), Joakim Nygard (rib), Joel Persson (concussion)


Status report

Wilson did not take part in the morning skate, but Capitals coach Todd Reirden said he would be in the lineup. ... Gagner will play his first game for Edmonton since being recalled from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Saturday. … Jurco will be a healthy scratch after playing the past nine games. 


Stat pack

Ovechkin is on an eight-game point streak (six goals, five assists) and needs three goals to tie Luc Robitaille (668) for 12th place on the NHL all-time list. … McDavid has no points in his past three games after having 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in his first seven games. ... Eller has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past two games.

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