Washington Capitals (4-4-1-0) vs. Vancouver Canucks (5-3-0-1)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, October 26, 2017
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Lines: Washington -155 / Vancouver +135
The well-rested Washington Capitals (6th in Metropolitan Division) will try to bounce back from a defeat against Florida by beating the Vancouver Canucks (3rd in Pacific), who return home after an incredibly successful road stretch…
Capitals Deliver Mixed Results
The Washington Capitals (4-4-1) were defeated for the fifth time in their last seven games while hosting the Florida Panthers, who grabbed a 4-1 win at Capital One Arena on Saturday, leaving the hosts with a disappointing 1-3-0 home record for the season so far. The Caps outshot the visitors 42-23, but managed to net just one goal, with defenseman Christian Djoos (3 points so far this year) grabbing his second snipe of the campaign. Just 24 hours prior, the Capitals managed to overcome the Detroit Red Wings, posting a 4-3 overtime victory at Little Caesars Arena last Friday. Alex Ovechkin (10 goals, 11 points) scored the winner 1:56 into the extra session to collect his 20th overtime snipe, thus breaking a tie with Jaromir Jagr (Calgary Flames) for most in NHL history.
Andre Burakovsky (1 goal, 4 points), Jay Beagle (1 goal, 2 points) and T.J. Oshie (6 goals, 9 points) were also on the scoresheet in Detroit, while Braden Holtby (4-2-0 for the year with a 2.31 GAA and a .929 save percentage) made 34 saves. Back-up Philipp Grubauer, meanwhile, made 19 saves against the Panthers, taking his season total to 0-2-1 with a 5.00 GAA and a .848 save percentage. He has won his only past start against Vancouver, making 23 saves in a 5-2 victory for the Caps in October 2016, while Holtby has gone 3-1-0 versus the Canucks with a 1.76 GAA and a .935 save percentage. The Capitals are 16th in most goals scored per game (3.00), 10th in most snipes allowed on average (3.44), 7th in power play (25.0%) and 25th in penalty kill (76.9%).
Canucks Continue To Win On The Road
The Vancouver Canucks (5-3-1) once again defied all the odds, collecting their second shutout and fourth road victory in the past five games by beating the Minnesota Wild 1-0 at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday. Composed, hard-working and persistent, the Canucks once again showed that you don’t necessarily need to play nifty, good-looking hockey to win games, as they rounded off a five-date road stretch with a shocking 4-1-0 total. Jake Virtanen (2 markers, 3 points so far this year) buried the only goal in Minnesota 10:07 minutes into the third period, taking Vancouver two games over .500 point percentage for the first time since the beginning of January.
The Canucks were outshot 29-25 and registered 14 blocked shots, with defenseman Michael Del Zotto (5 assists, 5 points) responsible for six of them. Goalie Anders Nilsson made 29 saves, bagging his second shutout of the season after stopping 32 shots in the 3-0 victory against the Ottawa Senators two weeks ago. He is 2-1-0 for the current campaign with a 1.83 GAA and a .949 save percentage and has gone 0-3-1 versus Washington in past encounters with a 3.64 GAA and a .882 save percentage. Jacob Markstrom (3-2-1 for the year with a 2.48 GAA and a .908 save percentage), meanwhile, is 0-5-0 against the Capitals historically with a 3.51 GAA and a .889 save percentage. The Canucks are sitting 10th in least goals scored per contest (2.67), 5th in least goals given up on average (2.44), 28th in power play (10.0%) and 13th in penalty kill (82.8%).
- Capitals are 4-0 in their last 4 overall meetings with Canucks.
- Capitals are 6-1 in their last 7 games following a home loss of 3 or more goals.
- Capitals are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Western Conference.
- Canucks are 4-18 in their last 22 home games.
- Canucks are 2-8 in their last 10 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Canucks are 6-21 in their last 27 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
All good things, as they say, eventually come to an end. And this is the end of the road for the Canucks, who are very unlikely to record their fourth consecutive victory here. Granted, the Capitals have won just two of their last 10 games played on three or more days’ rest. But they still are 13-5 in their last 18 road contests, while the Canucks have won just four of their last 22 home outings. Washington has also notched victories on its last two travels to Vancouver, so it is impossible to imagine anything but a win for the Capitals here…