The Washington Capitals don’t tend to fare well against the Dallas Stars. Since the 1996-1997, the Stars have accumulated a 25-2-6 record when facing off against the cross-conference team.
That may be just what the Stars need right now — a team they’re confident against.
For Dallas’ part, beating a familiar foe would help instill some confidence. After mixed results so far this season (though it’s still quite early into the 82-game schedule), and blowing a few multi-goal leads, playing the Capitals could help the Stars build off their “best game of the season” in which they didn’t get the result they deserved.
That is, if the team is willing to forgo their usual slow starts. But if they don’t, Washington actually is a cure in another way for what ails the Stars: the team has blown their fair share of multi-goal leads too.
Last Saturday, Washington held a two-goal lead heading into the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes were able to force overtime and get the extra point out of the contest, scoring three unanswered goals. They took a 4-2 advantage into the third period against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night, where the Predators scored three unanswered goals to win it in regulation, sending the team to their third loss. (Though, they’ve managed to at least collect a point in two of those, so they’re at least losing in the best way, unlike Dallas.)
Even if Dallas doesn’t come out strong (a trait that seems to be lingering within Jim Montgomery’s system in his second season as bench boss), they have been stronger in the second and third periods — and that’s just where Washington’s weaknesses seem to be here of late.
Dallas Stars Lineup
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark - Roope Hintz - Joe Pavelski
Jason Dickinson - Radek Faksa - Joel L’Esperance
Andrew Cogliano - Rhett Gardner - Nicholas Caamano
Jason Dowling (center) and Taylor Fedun (defense) appear to be the healthy scratches after Dickinson was deemed healthy and the re-assignment of Denis Gurianov to the AHL yesterday.
Antoin Khudobin gets the start.
Washington Capitals Lineup
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Carl Hagelin - Lars Eller - Richard Panik
Garnet Hathaway - Nic Dowd - Brendan Leipsic
John Carlson - Jonas Siegenthaler
Dmitri Orlov - Nick Jensen
Radko Gudas - Tyler Lewington
Ilya Samsanov is expected to start in net. It’s just his second NHL start, so there’s not a lot of game tape on him to study.
DID YOU KNOW:
- Tom Wilson has never scored a goal against the Dallas Stars, which all but guarantees he does now. You’re welcome, Wilson. He broke his career pointless streak versus the Stars on Tuesday so you just know this one is coming.
- Alexander Radulov has five straight multi-point games against the Capitals.
- Dallas is in the midst of a 17-game home point streak (13-0-4) against Washington. It’s the longest active home point streak by any team in the league against a single opponent.