The Washington Capitals play the Toronto Maple Leafs at home. Here is a full game preview of the action.
10-17 Maple Leafs (4-1-0) at Capitals (3-2-1)
7 pm NBC Sports Washington
Last game for Washington: 8-2 loss vs Philadelphia
Goals: Vrana, Backstrom
Assists: Carlson, Kuznetsov, Orpik, Oshie
Last game for Toronto: 4-3 overtime win vs Montreal
Goals: Matthews (2), Van Riemsdyk, Marleau
Assists: Kadri, Nylander
Capitals-Matt Niskanen (upper body injury) week to week.
Lars Eller (illness)
Keys to watch
Washington-Rebounding from Saturday’s blowout loss to Philadelphia. Going up against a high powered offense like the Maple Leafs is a good test for the Capitals. Braden Holtby should get the call in net. Defensively, the team should be set with their lines, and they need to be on their game, especially trying to shut down the best power play in the league (8 goals in 5 games-30.8%). Offensively, the Capitals power play (6 goals in 6 games-30%), is 3rd in the league, and is just as lethal as Toronto’s. Not to mention, Nicklas Backstrom (11 pts.), Evgeny Kuznetsov (10 pts.) and Alexander Ovechkin (10 pts.) are the top three scorers in the league, and are looking to get back on the scoring sheet after being mostly quiet on Saturday.
Toronto-Frederik Andersen should be in goal. The goaltender is 4-1, but does have a high GAA of 3.76. Defensively, the Maple Leafs are led by Nikita Zaitsev, who averages nearly 25 minutes a game, is a +8 for the year and is a key to the Leafs penalty kill. When Toronto goes on the power play, the catalysts on defense who set things are Jake Gardiner and Morgan Reilly, who thru the first five games has scored three points on the power play. Offensively, the leader of this team is Auston Matthews, who has scored 8 points (5G-3A), and is a plus-7. Also, on offense is James van Riemsdyk, who has scored six points (4G-2A), 4 of those on the power play. Also, is new Leaf Patrik Marleau (3G-2A), Nazem Kadri (2G-3A) and William Nylander (1G-4A), who fill out the top two lines. Not to mention, Tyler Bozak and Mitchell Marner, who each have a goal and three assists, and also like the other guys mentioned, they are all key components to the power play.