Rare matchup pits Flames against Capitals
CAPITALS (6-4-0) at FLAMES (6-4-0)
TV -- CBC (HD), CSN-DC (HD)
Season series --
This is the first and only meeting between the two clubs on the season. The two teams met late last season. Calgary defeated Washington, 5-3. Five different players scored for Calgary. Alex Ovechkin and two power-play goals highlighted Washington’s scoring.
Projected Flames lines --
The Flames held an optional skate this morning so lines are based on past practices.
Tanguay - Stajan - Iginla
Hagman - Jokinen - Bourque
Glencross - Backlund - Morrison
Meyer - Conroy - Jackman
Regehr - White
Bouwmeester - Giordano
Sarich - Mikkelson
Game day update --
On paper, the Calgary Flames and the Washington Capitals are quite similar. Both are in the midst of redeeming themselves after disappointments last season, neither are in the best mood thanks to their play in their last few games and both are 6-4-0 heading into tonight's game.
However, there are some key differences that will play a large part in the matchup.
"They haven't scored a lot of goals. We've been scoring a lot of goals but we've been giving up a lot of goals," said Flames forward Craig Conroy
. "We're coming into the game with a completely different mindset. They want to score, we want to shut them down."
Defenceman Jay Bouwmeester
said that his club not only needs to find consistency throughout the season but during all three periods of play each night.
"We've already had a few games this year where we've had to bounce back. It didn't end the way we wanted last game and we're facing a team here that if you have those lapses, they can get some quick ones on you. The focus for us is to be good for the whole 60 minutes and that should never really change."
The Capitals are a rare visitor in the Scotiabank Saddledome and with them comes a lot of excitement that doesn't just come from the fans.
"Darn right players are geared up to play and are excited to play them," said head coach Brent Sutter. "It's where you put yourself matched up against those guys kind of thing.
Offensively, that have been a top-end team here in the last few years. I know personally, being in the other conference and coaching against them, they've got a lot of weapons and you've got to be ready for them."
Big Story --
Calgary is coming off a wild 6-5 loss against the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night that ended the team's three-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Washington was upset by Minnesota, 2-1, Thursday night and is looking to find its form to close out the first month of the season.
After starting the season winning four of their first five games, the Capitals have since gone 2-3. Led by Ovechkin and his 10 points in 10 games, the Capitals have been getting steady production up and down the lineup, as seven players have scored at least 2 goals.
The middle of October served Calgary well, as the Flames won five out of six in a recent stretch before falling to the Avalanche Thursday night.
"Our best players -- outside of [Olli Jokinen
] -- weren't very good, bottom line," coach Brent Sutter said after the loss. "You give up six goals in the NHL, you’re not going to win very many games. When you've got a 3-1 lead in your own building with that much time left, you nail it down. Good teams, that’s why they do."
Still, the Flames sit atop the Northwest Division with 12 points.
Who’s hot -- Rene Bourque
is in the midst of a four-game scoring streak, including 5 goals and a hat trick in that span.
Injury report --
Semyon Varlamov, Tom Poti and Boyd Gordon remain on the IR for Washington, while Marcus Johansson is questionable for Saturday’s Flames game, while Calgary hasn’t sustained any recent injuries.
Stat pack --
Ovechkin and Alexander Semin have both tallied 5 goals in 10 games for the Capitals on offense, while Michal Neuvirth has played strong in net with a 2.16 goals-against average and .926 save percentage.
Puck drop --
"I'm not buying any of this excuse about being fatigued, emotionally or physically," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said after Washington's recent loss. "So I'm just not very happy with what happened."