National Hockey League
Canucks-Capitals Preview
National Hockey League

Canucks-Capitals Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 1:43 p.m. ET

Less than a week after Alex Ovechkin joined the 500-goal club, Daniel Sedin could make some history of his own against him.

Looking for an 11th consecutive home victory, Ovechkin and the league-leading Washington Capitals try to prevent Sedin from becoming the Vancouver Canucks' all-time leading goal scorer Thursday night.

The Capitals have been idle since Sunday, when Ovechkin scored twice in a 7-1 rout of Ottawa to become the 43rd player to reach 500. He's scored five of his NHL-leading 26 goals in the last three games for Washington (32-7-3), which has won four in a row and outscored opponents 56-28 during a 13-1-1 stretch.

''I think when one person has success, it reflects on everybody,'' coach Barry Trotz said. "It was a moment that was great for the team to share.''


In the midst of their longest home winning streak since a club-record 13-game run Jan. 5-March 6, 2010, the Capitals scored a season-high seven goals for the fourth time Sunday.

"We have a really good mentality," said forward Nicklas Backstrom, who has three goals and six assists during a six-game point streak. "We work hard every night. We try not to take nights off."

One of Ovechkin's 501 goals was the difference in a 3-2 victory at Vancouver (17-16-10) on Oct. 22. Sedin had an assist and has six along with five goals during a six-game point streak against Washington.

Sedin scored two of his team-leading 19 goals Monday, including one in overtime of a 3-2 victory over Florida to tie Markus Naslund's franchise record of 346.

"(Naslund) was an idol growing up," Sedin told the NHL's official website about his fellow Swede. "He meant so much to (me and twin brother Henrik) coming into this league.

"He's a better goal-scorer than me, no question about that. It's more about how many games I played. He will always be the No. 1 in the goal department."

In the midst of a 6-2-2 stretch, the Canucks begin a six-game eastern road swing looking to record a point in their fourth consecutive contest. They face another big challenge against the NHL's top team after beating the hottest, having snapped the Panthers' 12-game winning streak.

"We're moving on from the last game," Henrik Sedin said. "What's most important is that we won and our focus is on our next game (Thursday) in Washington."

The Capitals have converted 44.0 percent of their power-play chances in the last eight home games. The Canucks have the Western Conference's worst penalty kill on the road since the beginning of November (71.8 percent).

Vancouver is expected to start goalie Ryan Miller, who has missed the last eight games with muscle issues. Miller posted a 4.22 goals-against average while going 1-2-0 in his last four starts - all on the road. He stopped 32 shots against Washington earlier this season.

Though it's unlikely forward Brandon Sutter (sports hernia) and defenseman Luca Sbisa (hand) will play Thursday, both could return at some point on the trip. Sbisa hasn't played since Dec. 1 and Sutter since Nov. 10.

It also remains uncertain when veteran forward Mike Richards will make his Capitals debut after the club signed him last week. Richards hasn't played since last season with Los Angeles, which bought out the remaining five years of his contract after his arrest at a Canadian border in June on charges of possession of a controlled substance.


Get more from National Hockey League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more