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Preview: Capitals at Flames

Goalie Braden Holtby starts for Washington in second of back-to-back; Calgary after fourth straight win

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

CAPITALS (4-2-1) at FLAMES (4-4-1)

9:30 p.m. ET; SNF, CSN-DC+, NHL.TV

 

Capitals team scope

Goalie Braden Holtby will start for the Washington Capitals in the second of a back-to-back after Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves in a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. "We need a goalie so I've got to use one in each game," coach Barry Trotz said prior to the game. "It was really just change it up a little bit. [Grubauer] always gets some of the back-to-backs. He's played well in his first start so give him something on the front end." Trotz shook up his forward lines in the win. Alex Ovechkin skated with Nicklas Backstrom and Justin Williams, Evgeny Kuznetsov centered Marcus Johansson and Tom Wilson, and Andre Burakovsky played between T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller. "There really wasn't a line I didn't care for," Trotz said. "All our lines had important elements that allowed us to play a really dangerous game." Trotz is hoping that chemistry continues into Calgary. "We'll find out [Sunday]," Trotz said. "It's always important. You win a game (and) you don't want to just be happy. We've lost a couple here, and we just want to see if we can get some momentum [on Sunday]. Calgary is playing really well right now. I think they've won three in a row, so it will be a real good test."

 

Flames team scope

The Calgary Flames are hoping to keep the momentum of a three-game winning streak alive. "We're just keeping it a bit more simple," forward Michael Frolik said. "The games before the turnovers cost us a little bit in games. We just need to know when it's time to make a play and when it's not. We've done a lot better job of making those decisions. Just keep it simple, work hard. It's been working. We need to do it over and over and build something here that we can do it every night." The Flames, who had one win in their first six games, plan to use the Capitals as a measuring stick to see how much they've progressed. "We talked about digging in and getting everything stabilized here," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "Now we've got a team that we can grow from and take a chunk out of. We talked today. They're a highly evolved team. They're a team that won the Presidents' Trophy last year and did it with relative ease. It's a game we can learn a little bit from."

 

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Justin Williams

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson

Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- T.J. Oshie

Zachary Sanford -- Jay Beagle -- Brett Connolly

Karl Alzner -- Matt Niskanen

Dmitry Orlov -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Daniel Winnik

Injured: None

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Alex Chiasson

Kris Versteeg -- Sam Bennett -- Troy Brouwer

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Lance Bouma -- Matt Stajan -- Micheal Ferland

Mark Giordano -- Dennis Wideman

TJ Brodie -- Deryk Engelland

Jyrki Jokipakka -- Dougie Hamilton

Brian Elliott

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Brett Kulak, Nicklas Grossmann, Freddie Hamilton

Injured: Ladislav Smid (neck)

 

Status report 

The Capitals did not hold a morning skate. They are expected to stay with the same lineup used against the Canucks…The Flames held an optional skate and will stay with the same lineup as they used against the Ottawa Senators on Friday, meaning Elliott will make his fourth consecutive start. He has won his past three games. 

 

Who's hot 

Ovechkin has four goals in his past five games, and nine goals and 19 points in 12 career games against Calgary. … Burakovsky has assists in back-to-back games. … Bennett has goals in three straight, and six points during a four-game point streak. … Gaudreau has four points in his past two games. … Hamilton has five points in his past three games.

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