Game Preview #17 - Return to the Scene of the Crime

The last time the Jackets were in DC, things got ugly. Can they make amends?

Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals

November 12, 2013 - 7:00 pm EST
Verizon Center - Washington, DC
Radio - WWCD 102.5 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Japers' Rink
SBN's Capitals vs Blue Jackets Coverage

To say that Saturday night's win was a nice reprieve would be an understatement. Thankfully, Todd Richards has elected to keep those forward lines together tonight, and is putting David Savard back in to replace Dalton Prout. This makes me happy. I want to see more of Ryan Johansen with scorers in the top-line capacity. Both he and Brandon Dubinsky are coming off three-point nights against the Isles on Saturday.

However, we must point out that, the last time these two teams met in DC, it was grisly. The Jackets let the Caps' league-leading Power Play abuse them repeatedly. The Jackets showed no fight, and they barely staved off getting shutout. That was one of the low points of the season.

My assumption is that the Jackets have not forgotten that night.

Here's the flip-side, however. The Capitals have been playing much, much better, a loss on Sunday in Colorado notwithstanding. The last time these two teams played kicked off a stretch in which the Caps won seven of nine which catapulted them back into the spot I thought they'd occupy in terms of the division standings. That said, they're winless in their last two (0-1-1) on a mini-Western swing.

The key to this one may very well be special teams. The Caps are best in the league on the PP and second best on the PK. Thus, the Jackets can ill afford to spend a lot of time a man down, and they're going to have to try to make the best of their PP chances. Only 33 of the Caps' 53 goals scored this year have come at even strength (62.3%), so it is imperative to make them beat you at even strength.

Honestly, though, just about anything would be better than the last time.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(6-10-0, 12 Points; 7th division, 13th conference)

Brandon Dubinsky Ryan Johansen Cam Atkinson
R.J. Umberger Artem Anisimov Marian Gaborik
Derek MacKenzie Mark Letestu Blake Comeau
Sean Collins Michael Chaput Jared Boll
Fedor Tyutin Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin David Savard
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Washington Capitals
(9-8-1, 19 Points; 2nd Division, 7th Conference)

Martin Erat Niklas Backstrom Alex Ovechkin
Brooks Laich Marcus Johansson Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera Mikhail Grabovski Joel Ward
Aaron Volpatti Michael Latta Tom Wilson
Nate Schmidt Mike Green
John Carlson Karl Alzner
Alexander Urbom Steve Oleksy
Braden Holtby
Michal Neuvirth

Season Series

10/19/13 - Columbus 1 at Washington 4
11/12/13 - Columbus at Washington
01/17/14 - Washington at Columbus
01/30/14 - Washington at Columbus

Head to Head Stats

Washington Columbus
2.94 (9) GPG 2.50 (21)
2.83 (20) GAPG 2.88 (22)
26.7% (1) PP% 19.6% (14)
88.7% (2) PK% 78.8% (23)
Alex Ovechkin, 13 G leader Marian Gaborik / Ryan Johansen, 5
Niklas Backstrom, 15 A leader James Wisniewski, 11
Alex Ovechkin / Niklas Backstrom, 20 Pts leader Brandon Dubinsky / James Wisniewski, 13
Tom Wilson, 42 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 34
6-3-0 Home/Road 2-4-0
11/10 @ Colorado, L 4-1 Last Game 11/9 vs. NY Islanders, W 5-2
6-3-1 Last 10 4-6-0

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