Preview: Arizona at Washington
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, February 22, 2016
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
Alex Ovechkin appears to have made good use of the rest during the All-Star break, coming back strong with 10 goals in the last nine games as his Washington Capitals continue to roll. The captain looks to stay hot when the league-leading Capitals go for their fourth straight victory and ninth in 10 games on Monday against the visiting Arizona Coyotes.
Ovechkin has recorded a league-high 38 goals after netting the 513th of his career in a 4-3 victory over New Jersey on Saturday to tie Jeremy Roenick for 37th place on the all-time list. The Capitals will be taking on an Arizona team that is trying to stay alive in the Western Conference playoff chase. The Coyotes, who have won two of their last three games but have allowed 11 goals in the process, could be without leading scorer Oliver Ekman-Larsson as the defenseman is day-to-day with a lower-body injury he sustained in Saturday’s 6-4 loss to St. Louis. “Everyone’s scared,” Arizona captain Shane Doan told reporters. “Obviously, he’s a big part of our team. He’s our best player.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, CSN-DC (Washington)
ABOUT THE COYOTES (27-25-6): Ekman-Larsson, who leads the team with a career-best 45 points, accompanied the team on its five-game road trip that includes stops in Tampa Bay, Florida, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The Coyotes – 11-13-2 away from home – have received a boost from rookie Max Domi, who has emerged from a 14-game drought to score two goals in each of his last two contests. Doan tops the team with 22 goals after notching the 390th of his career on Saturday, while fellow forward Mikkel Boedker has gone seven games without a tally.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (43-10-4): Ovechkin is two tallies away from his eighth 40-goal season, but his 53 points are only good for third on a team that leads the league in scoring (3.30 goals) and on the power play (23.2 percent). All-Star Evgeny Kuznetsov has recorded two goals and four assists during his four-game point streak and leads the team with 60 points – six better than Nicklas Backstrom. Defenseman Brooks Orpik has notched a goal and two assists with a plus-5 rating in three games since returning from a lengthy stint on injured reserve.
1. Washington RW Justin Williams needs one goal to reach 20 for the first time since 2011-12 with Los Angeles.
2. Arizona D Kevin Connauton, who received a career-high 31:11 of ice time on Saturday, has registered two goals and three assists in 14 games since being claimed off waivers from Columbus.
3. The teams split their two meetings last season, with each winning on the road.
PREDICTION: Capitals 5, Coyotes 2