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Preview: Capitals at Canucks

Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver out to end four-game losing streak, host Washington

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

CAPITALS (3-2-1) at CANUCKS (4-3-1)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, CSN-DC, NHL.TV

 
Capitals team scope

Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz shook up his lines after two straight losses to try and spread out the scoring. Although Washington is third in the NHL with a 53.4 shot-attempt percentage, it is 27th in scoring with an average of 2.33 goals per game. "There's only one stat they need to keep and they have a scoreboard for it," Trotz said. "We're going to start with those lines and if they work we'll stay with them and if they don't we'll move them around. We have to get better offensively." Alex Ovechkin was reunited with center Nicklas Backstrom on a new top line with Justin Williams on the right side in place of Andre Burakovsky. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov dropped to the second line with Marcus Johansson and Tom Wilson, who moved up from the fourth line. Right wing T.J. Oshie dropped to the third line with Burakovsky and center Lars Eller. "We're just shaking things up trying to see if we can get some chemistry going and get some offense," Oshie said. Washington's power play ranks 29th (2-for-19). "How many years in a row [we've had a] top power play in the League, and right now it's little bit struggling so I think it's just a mental thing," Ovechkin said. Backup goalie Philipp Grubauer will start.

 
Canucks team scope

The Vancouver Canucks will try to end a four-game losing streak. Jacob Markstrom, who went 3-0-1 starting four straight games when No.1 Ryan Miller was recovering from core tightness, will start. The Canucks came back after trailing 3-0 twice for Markstrom in that stretch, but scored two goals for Miller in their past three games (0-3-0) and have been shut out in two straight games, including a 2-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. "We have to keep working, stay together as a team, keep chipping away, play smart and don't get frustrated," Markstrom said. Fourth-line center Brendan Gaunce took part in the morning skate after sustaining an injury in the third period against Edmonton and expects to play. Second-line left wing Sven Baertschi has no goals in eight games but had chances against the Oilers. "Early he was methodical and now he's crossed a spot where he has had enough and he is pushing harder and things are happening," coach Willie Desjardins said. Loui Eriksson, who scored 30 goals for the Boston Bruins last season, doesn't have a goal playing on the top line. "He gives us so many good things in so many areas and, yeah we'd like to see some scoring, but it will come," Desjardins said.

 
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

Philipp Grubauer

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Daniel Winnik

Injured: None

 
Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Loui Eriksson

Markus Granlund -- Brandon Sutter -- Jannik Hansen

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Jake Virtanen

Michael Zalewski -- Brendan Gaunce -- Jack Skille

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stetcher

Ben Hutton -- Erik Gudbranson

Luca Sbisa -- Philip Larsen

Jacob Markstrom

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Nikita Tryamkin, Alex Biega

Injured: Jayson Megna (shoulder), Christopher Tanev (lower body), Derek Dorsett (shoulder), Alexandre Burrows (neck), Anton Rodin (knee), Tom Nilsson (undisclosed)

 
Status report

Desjardins said Megna will be out 10-14 days after injuring his shoulder against the Oilers on Friday but Burrows and Dorsett skated Saturday after sustaining injuries during games last weekend. Neither will play against the Capitals but Desjardins indicated both could be ready when the Canucks open a six-game road trip against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. … Connolly, who is pointless in two games this season, goes from a healthy scratch to the fourth line in place of Winnik, who will be a healthy after scoring two goals in six games. ... Holtby will start against the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

 
Who's hot

Ovechkin has scored in four straight games. He is three games shy of his longest career goal-scoring streak, set during the 2005-06 season.

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