Washington Capitals (4-6 SU, 3-7 PL, 7-3-0 O/U) vs Calgary Flames (5-6 SU, 5-6 PL, 5-5-1 O/U)
When: 9:05 PM EDT, Sunday, October 29, 2017
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta
The Metro Division meets the Pacific Division as the Washington Capitals head to Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta to rumble with the Calgary Flames. The Capitals will be playing on no rest as they have a game in Edmonton on Saturday night, while the Flames are off a Goalie Probables: Washington will be sending out Philipp Grubauer in this one and he will be opposed by Mike Smith.
Caps Fall Big In Vancouver
The Washington Capitals have not gotten off to a very good start this year as they are just 4-6 out the gate and have lost their last two games in a row, getting outscored 10-3 in those games. The offense hasn’t been there for them so far, but more disturbing is their play in the crease, which has been among the worst in the league so far. They come into this game off a bad 6-2 loss in Vancouver and getting the start in that game was Braden Holtby and he allowed five goals on 22 shot attempts before getting pulled in favor of Philipp Grubauer. Holtby is now 4-3 on the year, but with a high 2.87 GAA. He will get the start in Edmonton on Saturday night, so for this one, it will be Grubauer, who has gone 0-3 with a 4.67 GAA on the year, including 0-2 with a 5.27 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 15-21 with a 2.71 GAA on the road and 4-3 with a 3.07 GAA during the month of October, while against the Pacific Division he has gone 5-7 with a 2.30 GAA, including 0-1 with a 2.92 GAA against the Flames. Scoring in the loss to the Canucks was Evgeny Kuznetsov, which was his 1st of the year and Chandler Stephenson, which was the first goal of his career.
The Capitals come into this game ranked 19th in the league in scoring at 2.90 gpg, while also ranking 30th in shots taken (29.0 spg) and 9th in power play conversions, converting on 22.9% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have not been great in the early going as they rank 28th in goals allowed, giving up 3.70 gpg, while also ranking 18th in shots allowed (32.7) and 29th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 26.7% of their chances.
Offense Has Been Struggling For The Flames
The Calgary Flames felt they had a very good team this year, especially on offense, and while they still might as there is a long time left in the season, but right now they are struggling and it has to do with their lack of offense. They come in off a tough 2-1 loss to Dallas at home and they have now scored just eight goals in their last five games and just 13 goals in their last seven games. The scoring has been way up this year, but not for the Flames so far. Scoring their lone goal in the loss to the Stars was Johnny Gaudreau, which was his 3rd of the year. Leading the flames in scoring this year has been Sean Monahan with five goals, while Mikael Backlund is 2nd with four. Gaudreau leads the team in points with 13. Taking the loss against the Stars was Mike Smith and he has now gone 5-5 with a 2.44 GAA on the year, including 1-4 with a 3.16 GAA here at home. In his career, he has gone 117-1112 with a 2.49 GAA in his home games and 35-33 with a 2.92 GAA during the month of October, while against the Metropolitan Division he has gone 14-27 with a 2.80 GAA and he is 2-9 with a 3.65 GAA in his career against the Capitals.
The Flames come into this game ranked 29th in the league in scoring at 2.27 gpg, while also ranking 20th in shots taken (30.9 spg) and 21st in power play conversions, converting on 15.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very average as they rank 13th in goals allowed, giving up 2.91 gpg, while also ranking 21st in shots allowed (33.3 spg) and 26th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 23.4% of their chances.
- 76-34 in their last 110 vs. a team with a losing record
- 13-6 in their last 19 road games
- 2-7 in their last nine games playing on one days rest
- 0-4 in their last four vs. the Eastern Conference
This is a tough one to pick as both teams are struggling right now. The Caps are the better team, but they are playing on no rest and Grubauer has struggled in the crease so far. Mike Smith has gone just 1-4 with a 3.16 GAA at home for the year and he is just 2-9 with a 3.65 GAA in his career against the Capitals. Even though Washington is playing on no rest, I still feel that they will come up with the better effort here against a Calgary team that has played better on the road than at home so far. The clincher is the fact that the road team is 5-1 the last six games in this series. Take the Caps in this one.