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Capitals at Bruins preview

Washington eyes 17th win in 18 against Boston, which will be without Chara

by Matt Kalman / Independent Correspondent

CAPITALS (26-6-5) at BRUINS (21-7-9)



The Game 

The Washington Capitals will try to continue their dominant play against the Boston Bruins when they meet at TD Garden on Monday.

The Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals are 16-1-0 in their past 17 games against the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins, outscoring them 57-26, and have won eight straight at Boston.

Washington has won two straight overall and is 10-2-0 in its past 12.

Boston will play without captain Zdeno Chara because of a scheduled follow-up procedure for a broken jaw sustained during the Stanley Cup Final. The 42-year-old defenseman is expected to return when the Bruins play at the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, following the three-day NHL Christmas break.

The Bruins are winless in three straight (0-0-3) and are 1-4-4 in their past nine games following an eight-game winning streak.


Players to watch

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past nine games and 42 points (eight goals, 34 assists) in 39 games against Boston.

Bruins forward David Pastrnak has five points (two goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak and leads the NHL with 28 goals.


They said it

"We've got to make sure we don't feed their transition, they're so good, especially awareness of who you're on the ice with. Whether it's guys like [Torey] Krug or [Charlie] McAvoy joining from the back end, or their obviously extremely talented top line. … It's up to everyone on our team to understand what we've got to do to shut down a dangerous Boston team." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden

"It's huge. Obviously we don't like the way we've been playing. … For us to come out on top it's obviously not going to be easy and there's lots of things that have to go right. So we understand that if we can pull off the win it'll be good to go into the holidays feeling good about ourselves, and that's kind of what we're looking to do." -- Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin -- Lars Eller -- Richard Panik

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Michal Kempny -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Jonas Siegenthaler -- Radko Gudas

Braden Holtby

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: Travis Boyd

Injured: None


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Danton Heinen

Sean Kuraly -- Charlie Coyle -- Anders Bjork

Joakim Nordstrom -- Par Lindholm -- Brett Ritchie

John Moore -- Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk -- Connor Clifton

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Chris Wagner, David Backes

Injured: Karson Kuhlman (fractured tibia), Kevan Miller (knee), Zdeno Chara (jaw procedure)


Status report

The Capitals will dress the same 18 skaters from their 3-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. … Moore replaces Chara, and Nordstrom replaces Wagner, who will be a healthy scratch.


Stat pack

Ovechkin needs one power-play goal to pass Teemu Selanne (255) for third place on the NHL all-time list and has 49 points (24 goals, 25 assists) in 50 games against Boston. … Heinen will play his 200th League game. … Krug has six points (one goal, five assists) in a four-game point streak.

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