NHL Game Preview - Capitals v Oilers

 
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6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT, October 25, 2018
Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta  Attendance: 18,347

Oilers prepare to face Capitals, Ovechkin

Washington Capitals at Edmonton Oilers

  1. The Capitals defeated the Canucks, 5-2, in Vancouver on Monday. The Capitals are the only team in the NHL scoring more than four goals per game and their 34 goals through their first 8 games are the most since they had 36 in their first eight games of 1991-92.
  2. The Oilers fell to the Penguins, 6-5, in overtime on Tuesday in a game which saw the score tied at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5. The last time that happened in an Oilers game was October 12, 2013 when they lost, 6-5, in overtime in Toronto.
  3. Alex Ovechkin scored two and assisted on two in the win over the Canucks. He became the fourth Capital to hit double-digits in points in just eight games this season, tying them with the Maple Leafs (played 10) for the most players with 10-plus points this season
  4. Leon Draisaitl scored two goals in the loss to the Penguins, his third and fourth of the season. The Oilers had been undefeated in the previous five games of Draisaitl's career which saw him net at least two goals.
  5. The Capitals have won five of the last six meetings with the Oilers, outscoring them 17-12 in the process. Connor McDavid has six points (1 G and 5 A) in five career games against the Caps. Meanwhile, Alex Ovechkin has tallied at least one point (11 total) in eight career games in Edmonton.
  6. The Capitals and the Oilers have both been prolific on the power play this season. Washington leads the league in power-play percentage at 38.7 while the Oilers are fifth in the league at 30.4. Both teams went 2-for-5 on the power play in their last game.

Despite a loss in overtime the last time out, the Edmonton Oilers held their own against one of the NHL's elite teams.

Next up, Edmonton will face the defending Stanley Cup champions -- a deep squad led by a seven-time goal scoring champion as part of a balanced offensive attack.

The Oilers close their four-game homestand Thursday night against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

"They're deep up and down. You don't win a Cup without being a really deep team," Edmonton captain Connor McDavid said Wednesday.

Coming off a shutout loss, the Oilers fell 6-5 in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday after a highlight-reel goal by Sidney Crosby.

Now, Edmonton (3-3-1) has to slow down a Washington team looking to win consecutive games for the first time in 2017-18. Stopping Ovechkin -- the league's leading active goal-scorer with 615 -- is key.

A three-time league MVP, Ovechkin is off to another hot start with eight goals and five assists in eight games. He scored twice and added two assists to lift the Capitals (4-2-2) to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday in the opener of a four-game Canadian road trip.

The 14-year veteran has a goal and five assists in his last three games in Edmonton. He also needs one power-play goal to tie Marcel Dionne for eighth on the career list with 234.

"It's almost like you know it's coming, but there is nothing you can do to stop it," McDavid said about Ovechkin's man-advantage scoring.

But Ovechkin is not all Edmonton must worry about. He is one of four Washington players with Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson, who are tied for the team lead with 13 points.

"I would say Backstrom and Kuznetsov are as good as you're going to find in the league," noted McDavid, who has six points, including five assists, in five career games against the Caps.

Backstrom registered three assists -- including the 600th of his career -- in the win over the Canucks. Kuznetsov has two goals and three assists in a four-game streak, and Carlson is second in the league in scoring among defensemen.

Cam Talbot is expected to start his eighth straight game for the Oilers despite surrendering eight goals in his last two games.

"I think he's been a lot more consistent this year," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said Wednesday. "He's been a reassuring goaltender for our group. When things haven't gone well, he's been there for us."

Meanwhile, Washington's Braden Holtby is 7-2-1 with a 1.78 goals-against average, a .939 save percentage and two shutouts in his career versus Edmonton.

McDavid has scored all nine of his points this season in the last five games.

The Capitals will face the Calgary Flames on Saturday afternoon before wrapping up their first road trip of the season against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 1.

"I think it is always important to have a trip like this early in the year," new Capitals coach Todd Reirden told the Washington Post on Tuesday. "It's (an) important part of growth of your team."

Updated October 24, 2018

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