Capitals aim for extend home win streak against Ducks (Feb 11, 2017)
WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals will look to extend their impressive home winning streak and enter their bye week on a high note when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.
The Capitals defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-3 on Thursday night at Verizon Center for their 11th straight home win. Washington has outscored opponents 56-15 and posted five shutouts during the streak.
“There’s certain buildings that are tough buildings to come into and we’ve tried to make the Verizon Center very tough to come into,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “Hopefully, that can continue.”
The Capitals have scored five or more goals in 10 consecutive home games, becoming the second team in NHL history to do so, joining the 1970-71 Boston Bruins, who did it in 11 straight home games.
League-leading Washington (38-11-6) has won five straight overall and has a point in 20 of its last 22 games (18-2-2).
Alex Ovechkin did not put a shot on net all game for the first time in nearly four years during Thursday’s win, but it didn’t matter given Washington’s depth of late. T.J. Oshie scored twice, Marcus Johansson notched a goal in his third straight game, and defenseman John Carlson’s scored the go-ahead goal in the third period.
Nicklas Backstrom had three points (one goal, two assists), extending his point streak to six games (three goals, seven assists), and has moved into the top five in the NHL in points (14 goals, 41 assists).
“Outstanding numbers every year. Very efficient. Quietly gets it done under the radar,” Trotz said. “He’s an outstanding two-way player in the league.”
Oshie has 23 points in his last 19 games (12 goals, 11 assists) and Evgeny Kuznetsov has 25 points in his last 19 games (nine goals, 16 assists) for the Capitals.
The Capitals have been nearly injury-free this season, but Andre Burakovsky (11 goals, 15 assists) injured his right hand in Thursday’s win. Trotz said he will be out until mid-March, but he won’t require surgery.
The Ducks (29-17-10) snapped a three-game losing streak on Thursday night with a 5-2 win in Buffalo, posting their first win during a six-game road trip (1-2-1).
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle changed his lines and Corey Perry responded with two goals and an assist to lead the Ducks. The goals were just the 10th and 11th of the season for the forward.
“If the team’s winning, I don’t care,” Perry told the Orange County Register. “If we’re struggling, it falls on the leader core. That’s when you have to step up and prove to everybody that you are a leader on this team.”
Perry had scored just two goals in his past 12 games.
“He’s a wild card,” teammate Antoine Vermette said. “This is a dangerous player all his career, we know that. He’s very dangerous, he’s got that knack around the net. He’s a dangerous guy. If he gets going, we know how hot he can be and how dangerous he can be.”
Perry has six goals and eight assists in 13 career games versus Washington.
Ovechkin has nine goals and 10 assists in just 12 games against the Ducks, Oshie has eight goals and seven assists in 19 games and Backstrom has four goals and eight assists in 10 games.