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Capitals at Maple Leafs preview

Washington eyes sixth victory in seven games; Dermott to make season debut for Toronto

by Dave McCarthy / Independent Correspondent

CAPITALS (8-2-3) at MAPLE LEAFS (6-5-2)



The Game

The Washington Capitals will try to win for the sixth time in seven games when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday.

Goalie Braden Holtby will start for Washington, which is 5-0-1 in its past six games and 3-0-1 in the first four games of a five-game road trip. 

Defenseman Travis Dermott will make his season debut for the Maple Leafs after missing the first 13 games recovering from shoulder surgery May 10. The 22-year-old was injured Feb. 27 but returned for the final four regular-season games and seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Goalie Frederik Andersen will start for Toronto, which is 2-3-1 in its past six games.


Players to watch

Capitals defenseman John Carlson leads NHL players at the position in scoring with 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) and had a nine-game point streak (18 points; five goals, 13 assists) end in a 6-5 overtime win at the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.

Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin has scored a goal in each of his past two games and has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past six games.


They said it

"What he's done is phenomenal and he's a huge reason why our team is where we are right now in the standings. … He was asked to take on a bigger leadership role and take on more responsibility of being a real veteran back there and he's done a phenomenal job." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden on defenseman John Carlson

"It's been way too long. I think it's the longest I've been away from the game so being cleared medically, it's what I've been thinking and dreaming about for the last six months, so it's really exciting." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott


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 -- Travis Boyd

Michal Kempny -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Jonas Siegenthaler -- Radko Gudas

Braden Holtby

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: Tyler Lewington, Chandler Stephenson

Injured: Richard Panik (upper body)


Maple Leafs projected lineup 

Andreas Johnsson -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

Ilya Mikheyev -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Mitchell Marner

Trevor Moore -- Jason Spezza -- Kasperi Kapanen

Dmytro Timashov -- Nicholas Shore -- Frederik Gauthier

Morgan Rielly -- Cody Ceci

Jake Muzzin -- Tyson Barrie

Travis Dermott -- Justin Holl

Frederik Andersen

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Nic Petan, Martin Marincin, Kevin Gravel

Injured: John Tavares (broken finger), Zach Hyman (ACL)


Status report

The Capitals will use the same forwards and defensemen they did against the Canucks. … Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said he does not have a timeline on when Tavares or Hyman will return but said he expects Tavares to return first.


Stat pack

Ovechkin has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in his past 10 games. … Kempny has five points (three goals, two assists) in his first five games this season. … Marner has six assists in his past five games. … Matthews has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games.

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