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Preview: Capitals at Jets

Winnipeg rookie Patrik Laine set to play childhood idol Alex Ovechkin, Washington

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

CAPITALS (5-2-1) at JETS (4-5-0)

8 p.m. ET; TSN3, CSN-DC, NHL.TV

 

Capitals team scope

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby will make his seventh start of the season after picking up his third win in a 3-1 victory against the Calgary Flames on Sunday. Holtby said the Capitals are getting back to playing their style. "We're making strides in our game and getting back to our identity," he said. "It will be a really good test tonight. We came out a little flat-footed in the first few games. … It kind of showed in Edmonton [4-1 loss to the Oilers]. It kind of came to a head. The last two games we've really taken it upon ourselves to improve our game and show what type of team we are." Holtby is 8-3-1 against the Jets in 12 career games. The game concludes a seven-day, four-game Canada road trip (2-1-0).

 

Jets team scope

Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine will play against his childhood idol, Alex Ovechkin, for the first time in the NHL. Laine, who took cues from Ovechkin as a kid when he was developing his shot, said he won't be star-struck. "It's always nice to play against good players," Laine said. "You have to be careful all of the time when he's on the ice. He's dangerous with the puck and can score from a lot of angles. It's just a normal game. We're going to play a couple times against their team." Laine has six goals and two assists in nine games this season, including four power-play goals. The Jets play 16 games in 29 days in November, including 10 road games. They will be without defenseman Mark Stuart because of a lower-body injury. Defenseman Julian Melchiori was recalled from Manitboa of the American Hockey League and will be in the lineup Tuesday. "We'll have people who wouldn't have played together play together tonight," coach Paul Maurice said. "There's some chemistry that you have got to try and work through."

 

Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Patrik Laine -- Mathieu Perreault - Kyle Connor

Shawn Matthias -- Adam Lowry -- Joel Armia

Brandon Tanev -- Alexander Burmistrov -- Chris Thorburn

Josh Morrissey -- Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom -- Paul Postma

Julian Melchiori -- Ben Chiarot

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Marko Dano

Injured: Bryan Little (lower body), Drew Stafford (upper body), Tyler Myers (lower body), Mark Stuart (lower body)

 

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

Matt Niskanen -- Karl Alzner

Dmitry Orlov -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Daniel Winnik

Injured: None

 

Status report

Myers will miss his second straight game because of a lower-body injury. … Little will be out until the end of November because of a lower-body injury. … Stafford will miss his third straight game because of an upper-body injury. … Winnik will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game, but coach Barry Trotz said he likely will play Thursday against the Jets.

 

Who's hot

Johansson has four goals on six shots in his past two games and leads the Capitals with nine points in eight games. … Hellebuyck stopped 38 of 39 shots in his last start and stopped all 13 shots in a relief appearance against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

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