Western Canada Road Trip: All Eyes on Chandler Stephenson

 The Caps have three away games coming up. Chris Cleveland shares his thoughts on what could happen!!!

 Chandler Stephenson- The Caps recently put Andre Burakovksy on the IR after he had thumb surgery and he will be out for six to eight weeks. Stephenson, who has been red hot in Hershey, was the obvious choice be to recalled after registering his first AHL career hat trick. He seems excited to be a part of this trip.  Chandler is from Canada after all, so there is a good chance he will get to play in front of his family and friends. We are not sure when (or if)  he will  play during this road trip but it would seem likely that he could play either in Edmonton or Calgary.

 Caps in Vancouver- This is the one arena the Caps never seem to win in. They always struggle there and for some reason, it is a hard place for them to win. The Canucks are just that good at home. Even though it’s a tough place to play, it is a beautiful city. I think the Caps will come out slow, like they usually do when they have so many injuries and the lines so juggled. It is going to be an interesting first period.

 Prediction: I’ve got the Canucks up 2-1 after the first with goals from the Sedin line and Jakub Vrana scoring for the Caps on the second period. The Caps will get an early power play chance in the second and capitalize on it to tie the game but will give up a goal later in the period and be down 3-2. The third will be interesting too. I have the Capitals knotting it at 3-3 but the Canucks once again taking the lead and then finishing it off with an empty net goal for the 5-3 win.

 Caps In McDavid’s House– Rogers Place will be rocking for this high-powered offensive lineup. The amount of goals the Caps score in Edmonton seems to be endless. Look for Chandler Stephenson to be in for Nathan Walker this game on the fourth line. The Caps will come out strong in the first, getting a few early power plays, with goals from Oshie and Djoos. The Capitals take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The second period is going to be the fun one with goals left and right. I’ve got Oshie scoring again and Carlson getting his first of the year. Caps lead 4-3 after two. McDavid will tie it early in the third with a beauty of a breakaway goal to tie the game. The Caps will eventually retake the lead with around seven minutes left I see Oshie getting his hat trick! The Caps will add another empty net goal from Lars Eller and seal the win 6-4.

 The game of Grubi– Grubi definitely gets the start in Calgary with Holtby playing the previous night vs the Oilers. This is going to be another very interesting game for sure. The Flames always seem to be the wild game of the road trip and you never really know which way it will go. I think this is going to be a tight defensive game for the most part, with the Caps eventually breaking through midway of the game. Chandler Stephenson will get some more time on the power play late in the second and really capitalize on it netting his first career NHL goal. The Caps  will add another goal late in the third and then an empty netter for good measure and with steller play from Grubi will end up with a 3-0 win and a very happy flight back to D.C.

So there you have Chris’ projections!! What do you think??

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