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Preview: Capitals at Predators

Filip Forsberg goes for hat trick in NHL record third straight game; Washington without T.J. Oshie

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

CAPITALS (41-12-7) at PREDATORS (29-22-9)

5 p.m. ET; SN, CSN-DC, FS-TN, NHL.TV


Capitals team scope

The Washington Capitals will play the second game of a back-to-back set without forward T.J. Oshie (upper body) and defensemen Brooks Orpik (lower body) and Matt Niskanen (lower body). "All three of those players will not play [Saturday]," coach Barry Trotz said after they missed a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. "They're going to stay [in Washington]. We're going to go to Nashville. All three players, I expect them to join us [against the New York Rangers on Tuesday]." Defensemen Taylor Chorney and Aaron Ness were in the lineup against Edmonton in place of Orpik and Niskanen. "[Chorney] has been outstanding for us all year," goaltender Braden Holtby said. "If someone goes down and he comes in, our lineup doesn't even flinch. That's how much we have confidence in him. Coming up against a team like [Edmonton] with that much speed and [Ness] coming in, he's a great skater, an outstanding skater and a smart player. We saw that last year so we weren't even worried." Washington leads the NHL standings and is seven points ahead of the second-place Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division.


Predators team scope

Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg can become the first player in NHL history to have a hat trick in three straight games. He had three goals in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday and three goals in a 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, the first time a plyer has had back-to-back hat tricks since Vancouver Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows did it Jan. 5-7, 2010. "It's been fun to watch," captain Mike Fisher said. "He's been on a great roll, and it's been a fun week to watch him, there's no question. We're just hoping he continues on and stays hot for us because he's been a difference maker for us. On the bench, sometimes it's comical just to see him do his thing. If he's hot, he's hot." Forsberg has four goals and two assists in four games against Washington in his career. He was traded from Washington to Nashville in 2013. "It's always a little special," Forsberg said. "It's tough to deny that with all the history, but at the same time it's just like any game. Two points are at stake, two big points for the team." The Predators are 17-7-7 at home and are 7-2-2 in their past 11 games at Bridgestone Arena. They can pass the St. Louis Blues for third place in the Central Division with a point.


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Brett Connolly

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Zach Sanford -- Lars Eller -- Riley Barber

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Taylor Chorney

Aaron Ness -- Nate Schmidt

Philipp Grubauer

Braden Holtby

Scratched: None

Injured: Andre Burakovsky (hand), Matt Niskanen (lower body), T.J. Oshie (upper body), Brooks Orpik (lower body)


Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala -- Mike Fisher -- Craig Smith

Colin Wilson -- Calle Jarnkrok -- James Neal

Harry Zolnierczyk -- Vernon Fiddler -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin -- Yannick Weber

Juuse Saros

Pekka Rinne

Scratched: Anthony Bitetto, Brad Hunt, Colton Sissons

Injured: Cody McLeod (lower body), Miikka Salomaki (lower body)


Status report

Neither team held a morning skate. ... Ovechkin will play in his 900th NHL game. Grubauer will play after Holtby was in goal for the win against Edmonton. ... The Predators held an optional practice Friday.


Who's hot

Backstrom has five goals and 10 assists in his past 10 games. Kuznetsov has two goals in his past two games. ... Forsberg has six goals in his past two games. Arvidsson has seven goals and four assists in his past 10 games. 

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