Washington Capitals (116 points)
Arizona Coyotes (75 points)
The Washington Capitals finish their three-game road trip by visiting the Arizona Coyotes.
Not Without a Fight
The Coyotes have been eliminated from playoff contention but that won’t stop them from playing. They have a tough five games remaining against teams that are all making the playoffs. This will go a long way in determining the fight this team has and the areas they need to improve in order to contend next season.
- The 19-year veteran Shane Doan leads the team with 26 goals and 18 assists. Oliver Eckman-Larrson leads the team with 31 assists.
- Center Marin Hanzal is listed as day-to-day with a hand injury sustained in their 4-1 loss to Dallas.
- Goaltender Mike Smith (14-11-1) with a 2.69 GAA and .915 save percentage will be your starter after missing a lot of games due to a lower body injury. He was 4-2 in March with a 1.50 GAA and a .953 save percentage.
Closer to the Record
The Capitals locked up the President’s Trophy, Eastern Conference and Division in the regular season this past Monday with their 4-1 win over Columbus. Braden Holtby is inching closer to Martin Brodeur’s regular season win record (one shy of tying, two of breaking) but is having similar issues. Wins get tougher to come by the closer you get to the record. Here’s hoping with five games remaining, he can grab three wins and get some much needed rest.
- Center Niklas Backstrom was scratched from Friday nights game with an upper body injury. Since the Caps have already clinched everything, don’t be surprised if you don’t see him play against Arizona as a precaution. Marcus Johansson will take over centering duties.
- Goaltender Braden Holtby may start if he’s closer to the regular season record. However, since it’s back-to-back games, I think we will see Philip Grubauer (8-7-1) 2.30 GAA and a .920 save percentage in net.
- The Capitals return home Tuesday for two straight home games against the Islanders and Penguins, then a road game in St. Louis followed by the season finale at home Vs. the Ducks (rescheduled due to the snowstorm in January.)
Saturday late night hockey in the desert. GO CAPS!