New Year’s Eve in Raleigh: Puck Drops Early (6 pm)
Photos by Brittney Marcum
After a rough game Wednesday, the Capitals overpowered the Sabres in the third period for their ninth win in a row. It was not without a cost though as Nicklas Backstrom left the ice with an undisclosed injury, as did Jay Beagle. Beagle will need surgery according to Coach Trotz and will go on the injured reserve list shortly.
Michael Latta and Nicky are expected back with the team in Raleigh; however, it seems that John Carlson may be out a bit longer after reviewing the results of his MRI. Players will be called up from Hershey to fill gaps or be on hand should any player not make it to the ice on Thursday. Expect some line shifts as a result.
There was no morning skate.
According to CBS Sports, the Caps franchise record for consecutive wins is a “14-game run from Jan. 13-Feb. 7, 2010. They’re also opening a five-game trip seeking six consecutive road victories for the first time since Feb. 20-March 15, 2011.”
Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 20 goals. With his last two goals against Buffalo he is now within five goals of 500 NHL career goals.
A goalie has not been announced for tonight’s game at time of posting.
Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (24). Yup, we just keep changing the number on the same sentence!
Backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer could get the nod tonight. In the seven games he has been in the net he has four wins, two losses, and an OT loss. He should be strong in the net against the Canes should Trotz give him the opportunity.
Andre Burakovsky finally scored a goal in the third period of the Buffalo game—his first in 25 games. It will be interesting to see if he will break loose now with that monkey off his back!
The Caps have shown no mercy to the Canes in their two games so far this season ending 4-1 in October and 2-1 earlier this month.
Cam Ward should be in the net for Carolina. He has lost three of his last five games and overall has won 11 of 27 games played this season.
Justin Faulk (27) leads the team with 14 goals and 14 assists and as a defenseman he can be expected to play an offensive game against the Caps. He also leads the league in power-play goals. He hasn’t scored on the Caps in the last 15 games played against them.
Eric Staal (12) scored two goals in the Canes game against the Devils Tuesday breaking his scoring drought. However, he hasn’t scored in seven straight home meetings with Washington,
Holtby, with 125 career games won is four games away from passing Don Beaupre (128) for second place on the Caps franchise list.
The Capitals start a five-game away stretch on 31 December:
Sat Jan 2, 2016 Capitals Blue Jackets, 7:00 PM CSN-DC
Tue Jan 5, 2016 Capitals Bruins, 7:00 PM CSN-DC, TVAS
Thu Jan 7, 2016 Capitals Islanders, 7:00 PM CSN-DC, TVAS, SN360
Sat Jan 9, 2016 Capitals Rangers, 1:00 PM CSN-DC, SNE, SNO, SNP