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Oilers @ Capitals Game 47 Preview

Oilers look to make it two in a row with a visit to the Verizon Center.

Yakupov provided the shootout winner in Florida.
Yakupov provided the shootout winner in Florida.
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

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caps 2
11-26-9, 31 points, .644 p/g Ranks 24-13-8, 56 points, 1.186 p/g
Western Conference - 14th Eastern Conference - 7th
29th P/G 12th
25th ST 17th
28th ES 12th
29th Goal 11h
5:00 PM - SNW
Verizon Center
The opposing view:  Japers' Rink

It's Ovechkin Bobblehead Night!

Edmonton emerges from Florida with an ultra-rare road victory (they've had three all year).  A goal by Jordan Eberle early in the second was muted when the Panthers tallied a goal from both Erik Gudbranson and Jonathan Huberdeau.  Matt Hendricks scored a shorthanded goal in the third, helping send the game into overtime.  A shootout would be needed, and that's where Nail Yakupov provided the difference maker.  The Oilers magically escape Florida with two points in just their third road victory of the year.

The Oilers look for the second victory in a row tonight.  They're in Washington, and should they somehow string two consecutive victories together, it would be for the first time since November 9th.

The Oilers are saying

"I have a lot of respect for Barry (Trotz), and we were able to share a championship together...he's been the same person ever since I've met him, so it'll be a lot of fun tomorrow"

That's Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson on coaching against his mentor Barry Trotz

Todd Nelson is getting his first chance to coach against Barry Trotz, the man who coached Nelson to the 1993-94 Calder Cup as a member of the Portland Pirates.  Trotz was forever the Predators' man behind the bench, coaching in Nashville from 1998 until the end of the 2013-14 season.  In only his first year behind the bench in Washington, the Caps are currently in a playoff position and have the league's fourth highest PP% at 24.1.

The Opponent is saying

It's just the little things creeping into our game that weren't early.  When you're winning, you don't see them and it's hard to correct them until you lose a couple of games.  And then when you lose a couple, it brings clarity.  It's easy to see why the last two games, we've lost..."

A 4-3 loss in Nashville on Friday was followed up with a 5-4 defeat in Dallas the next day.  Prior to that, the Capitals had points in eight straight, (6-0-2), having not lost in regulation time since the Penguins kept them off the board on December 27th.

Have some of this
  • FASTH STARTS AGAIN - Viktor Fasth (3-10-2, .891 SV% / 3.36) will start his second consecutive game tonight.  Fasth played well in Edmonton's 3-2 shootout victory against Florida, turning aside 35 of 37 shots, plus three in the shootout.  Look for Braden Holby (22-9-4, .923 SV% / 2.22) to start for the Caps tonight.
  • SAME LINES - Exactly the same for tonight's matchup as the crew in Florida.  No Luke Gazdic?  No problem.
  • EASYSTATS, INC - Hard to believe that Nail Yakupov's successful shootout attempt against the Panthers was his first attempt in his career.  Bet you a cookie that we'll see him again should the shootout arise tonight..
  • BOB GREEN - Seems that word has gotten to Rexall Place that the Oilers should be getting more bounce to the ounce when it comes to drafting after the first round.  Bob Green has taken over the position of Director of Player Personnel, where MacTavish says he'll "oversee all aspects of the scouting department".  Green is noted for helping put together a powerhouse Oil Kings club.  He'll have his hands full with this year's draft.  Not drafting Oil Kings that project to be career ECHL guys in the early second round will be a good test of his mettle.