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Capitals at Golden Knights preview

Ovechkin continues push for 700th goal with Washington; Vegas eyes third straight win

by Danny Webster / Independent Correspondent

CAPITALS (37-16-5) at GOLDEN KNIGHTS (30-22-8)



The Game

Alex Ovechkin will try again to become the eighth player in NHL history to score 700 goals when the Washington Capitals play the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Monday.

Ovechkin has 698 goals and has not scored in his past four games after scoring 14 in the previous seven. He has 40 goals this season, two behind Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak and Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews for the League lead.

The Capitals, who lost to the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 on Saturday, are 3-5-0 in their past eight games. They lead the Pittsburgh Penguins by one point for first in the Metropolitan Division.

The Golden Knights, who will look to win their third game in a row and sixth in their past nine (5-2-1), are third in the Pacific Division. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who had his 60th NHL shutout in a 1-0 win against the New York Islanders on Saturday, will start for Vegas.

Braden Holtby will start for Washington.


Players to watch

Capitals forward T.J. Oshie has five points (three goals, two assists) in the past five games.

Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in the past 10 games.


They said it

"When we are playing good, we are playing good, but when we play bad, I mean, we are really bad. We need to get our level up a little bit and over 60 minutes, I think." -- Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom

"I think our guys, from what I'm slowly learning about this group, is they have the ability to rise to the occasion. I think they like the challenge of playing the best teams. We have that ability and Washington makes you play your best game or they can embarrass you." -- Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Lars Eller -- T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin -- Travis Boyd -- Richard Panik

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Michal Kempny -- John Carlson

Radko Gudas -- Jonas Siegenthaler

Nick Jensen -- Dmitry Orlov

Braden Holtby

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: None

Injured: Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper body)


Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- Paul Stastny -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- William Karlsson -- Mark Stone

Chandler Stephenson -- Cody Eakin -- Cody Glass

William Carrier -- Tomas Nosek -- Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Nick Holden -- Shea Theodore

Jon Merrill -- Zach Whitecloud

Marc-Andre Fleury

Malcolm Subban

Scratched: Deryk Engelland

Injured: Alex Tuch (lower body)


Status report

Kuznetsov, a forward, will miss his third consecutive game. … Stephenson, a third-round pick (No. 77) by Washington in the 2012 NHL Draft, will face the Capitals for the first time since he was traded to Vegas on Dec. 3 for a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.


Stat pack

Washington has won four of its past five on the road and is an NHL-best 21-7-1 away from Capital One Arena. … The Golden Knights are 2-0-0 against the Capitals at home in the regular season; Washington won twice at Vegas in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, winning the series in five games.

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