WASHINGTON - Dan Bylsma said Monday that Anders Nilsson's recent play warranted another start before the end of the week. That statement came on the heels of Nilsson's 46-save performance against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins last Saturday, which improved his goals-against average to 1.74 and his save percentage to .951 in five games this season.
Nilsson will get that start on Friday evening against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
"With his last couple starts, he's earned another opportunity in net," Bylsma said. "It's coming tonight here in Washington."
The Capitals are coming off of a 4-3 win over St. Louis on Wednesday in which Ovechkin recorded his first hat trick of the season. All three of Ovechkin's goals in that game came on shots from above the faceoff dots. He leads the Capitals with 12 goals this season.
"It's discipline in the game, [we] can't let them get to the power play very often," Bylsma said. "Last game is a great example, it was the third kill in the first period that he got his first goal on. His other goals are just examples of wherever he's at in the offensive zone, you almost can't be sure you have him covered. One pass over to him in that spot, he's going to deliver it to the net. The key is knowing that, knowing that situation and being aware of it."
Coverage on Friday begins with the TOPS Pregame Show on MSG-B, or you can listen live on WGR 550. The puck drops between the Sabres and Capitals at 5 p.m.
82 Marcus Foligno - 90 Ryan O'Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo
9 Evander Kane - 22 Johan Larsson - 12 Brian Gionta
48 William Carrier - 23 Sam Reinhart - 26 Matt Moulson
28 Zemgus Girgensons - 19 Cal O'Reilly - 27 Derek Grant
4 Josh Gorges - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
29 Jake McCabe - 6 Cody Franson
41 Justin Falk - 38 Taylor Fedun
31 Anders Nilsson
40 Robin Lehner