Boston Bruins at Washington Caps
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
WASH DC – The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins are sitting atop their respective divisions and own the two best records in hockey, but the series is shockingly one-sided since the start of the 2014 season. The NHL-leading Capitals have won 15 of the last 16 meetings and look to extend that success when they host the slumping Bruins tonight.
Washington had its six-game winning streak and seven-game point string halted in a 5-2 home loss to Metropolitan Division rival Columbus on Monday night. “There’s no easy games in this league, that’s for sure,” Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said. “You’ve just got to bounce back right away. We have a good test on Wednesday against Boston.” The Bruins fell to 1-11-4 against Washington after dropping a 3-2 shootout decision at home on Nov. 16 and have lost three in a row overall after opening a four-game trek with a 5-2 setback at Ottawa. “We’re going through a tough stretch in terms of getting our energy level where it needs to be,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “If you’re not competing hard on the puck, around the puck, on the puck in this league you’re not going to beat anybody.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, TVAS
ABOUT THE BRUINS (20-5-6): No. 1 center Patrice Bergeron returned to the lineup after missing seven games due to a lower-body injury and showed he hasn’t missed a beat, scoring his ninth goal, recording a team-high six shots on net and winning 16 of 25 faceoffs. Linemates David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand collected two assists each, although they have gone a season-high four and six games, respectively, without scoring a goal. Pastrnak has a league-high 25 goals but has four tallies and nine points in 13 games versus Washington.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (22-5-5): Like Boston, Washington saw its top-line center rejoin the lineup with the return of Backstrom (upper body), who scored one goal and set up another after being sidelined the previous eight contests. Captain Alex Ovechkin matched Backstrom with a goal and an assist, giving him 21 tallies on the season and pulling within five goals of tying Teemu Selanne (684) for 11th place on the career scoring list. Ovechkin has inflicted plenty of damage against Boston with 24 goals and 49 points in 49 games.
- Capitals G Braden Holtby owns a stellar 17-3-0 record and 1.81 goals-against average versus Boston.
- The Bruins are 2-for-20 on the power play over the past seven games.
- Capitals D John Carlson, the reigning First Star of the Week, has five points in the last seven games versus Boston.