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game preview

Capitals at Lightning preview

Washington looking for eighth win in nine games; Tampa Bay going for third straight victory

by Corey Long / NHL Independent Correspondent

CAPITALS (23-5-5) at LIGHTNING (16-11-3)

7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SUN, NBCSWA, NHL.TV

 
The Game

The Tampa Bay Lightning will attempt to win three consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 21-25 when they play the Washington Capitals at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

The Lightning have won three out of four (3-1-0), including a 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

Washington is 7-1-0 in its past eight games and has outscored its opponents 29-20 during that stretch.

 
Players to Watch

Capital defenseman John Carlson has nine points (four goals, five assists) in the past six games.

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman has eight points (three goals, five assists) in the past eight games.

 
They said it

"You prepare differently for every opponent and [the Lightning] are no different. It's just that they have guys in certain sports that are among the League's best. -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden

"I think [the Capitals] have a lot of depth in their lineup. Top to bottom forward-wise they have guys who can hurt you. They have a really strong work ethic, especially in their bottom two lines. They provide a lot of energy. We have to be ready for that." -- Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

 
Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin -- Lars Eller -- Richard Panik

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Michal Kempny -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Jonas Siegenthaler -- Radko Gudas

Ilya Samsonov

Braden Holtby

Injured: None

Scratched: Travis Boyd

 
Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn -- Anthony Cirelli -- Steven Stamkos

Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Yanni Gourde

Carter Verhaeghe -- Mitchell Stephens -- Mathieu Joseph

Victor Hedman -- Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Injured: Tyler Johnson (lower body), Braydon Coburn (lower body)

Scratched: Luke Schenn

 
Status report

Coburn took part in the morning skate but isn't expected to return to the lineup until after the Christmas break.

 
Stat pack

Ovechkin needs one power-play goal to pass Teemu Selanne (255) for sole possession of third place on NHL all-time list. … Oshie has nine points (three goals, six assists) in the past six games. … Stamkos has six goals in the past four games. … Killorn has eight points (four goals, four assists) in the past six games.

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