Preview: Washington at Toronto
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 28, 2015
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
The Washington Capitals have regained their offensive touch following three weeks of inconsistent performances and have surged within one point of the first-place New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division. Winners of four in a row, the Capitals look to continue their streak when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday to begin a three-game road trip.
Washington capped a 4-1-0 homestand by popping in three power-play goals in a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay on Friday night. The Capitals have scored 17 goals during their four-game run, their most productive stretch since netting 24 goals during a five-game winning streak from Oct. 15-23. The Maple Leafs, who have been idle since Monday, had won five of six before dropping both ends of a home-and-home with the Boston Bruins. Toronto suffered a crushing 3-2 shootout loss at Washington on Nov. 7, allowing the tying goal with 0.8 second left in regulation.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, CBC, CSN-Plus Washington
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (16-5-1): After going 2-for-15 with the man advantage during a five-game stretch, Washington is 4-for-6 in the last two games after registering three power-play tallies against Tampa Bay. Veteran Jason Chimera, who never had more than two power-play goals in each of his first 15 seasons, notched his third of the campaign against the Lightning. “They didn’t know I was a power-play guy until I’m 36,” Chimera said. “You usually find out stuff later in life, and that’s what they found out.”
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (7-10-5): Goaltender James Reimer, who has started 11 of 12 games this month, was hurt during Tuesday’s practice and there is a question of whether he will play. While Reimer told reporters on Friday that “we’ll see how she feels tomorrow,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said his netminder will play. “Look, I’m not the doctor, I’m not the therapist, I’m not the chiropractor, I’m not the media, I’m the coach,” Babcock told the media. “And when they (medical staff) tell me a guy’s available, I put him in if he’s ready to go.”
1. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who has scored four times in his last five games, has 31 goals and 55 points in 37 games versus Toronto.
2. Maple Leafs C Tyler Bozak has three goals and six assists in his last eight games.
3. Washington G Philipp Grubauer (2-1-1, 2.71 goals-against average) is expected to get the start Saturday.
PREDICTION: Capitals 4, Maple Leafs 2