NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 27th (All times eastern)
Washington Capitals (7-0-0) at Edmonton Oilers (4-2-2), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals are the last unbeaten team in the NHL and will try to add to their franchise record of wins at season's start tonight against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.
The Capitals became the 10th team to win as many as seven straight games at the start of the season with a 7-1 victory over the previously-unbeaten Detroit Red Wings on Saturday from the Verizon Center. Mike Green had two power-play goals and two assists, Mathieu Perreault also scored twice and Tomas Vokoun made 32 saves to improve to 6-0-0 in his first season with Washington. Vokoun had a 3-0 mark and a 1.00 GAA in three starts last week.
"The score definitely wasn't a 7-1 game," Caps coach Bruce Boudreau told the club's site. "I'm sitting behind the bench and going, 'That's one fantastic team.' The first 10 minutes, it came at you in waves. They are so fast and they know where everybody is. The difference was our goalie was better than their goalie tonight."
Alex Ovechkin had two assists for the Caps, who have won their last seven regular-season home games at the Verizon Center dating back to last season and is closing in on the team record of nine wins in the month of October. The Capitals have scored at least one power-play goal in each of the last five games and the record for consecutive wins to start a season is 10, established by the 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs and matched in 2006-07 by the Buffalo Sabres.
With a win, the Capitals would become just the sixth team in league history to start the season with eight consecutive triumphs.
Washington, which is averaging a league-best 4.14 goals per game, is slated to play two straight and four of five games away from home and has won its first two tests as the guest this season. It has tallied 12 goals in the third period, holding a 12-5 advantage in that particular stanza.
On the injury front for the Caps, Green has yet to practice this week because of a lower body injury suffered against Detroit. His status for tonight's game is unknown.
Edmonton will close out a four-game homestand this evening and is in the midst of playing seven of its first nine games on home ice.
The Oilers recorded their second straight win with a 3-2 decision against Vancouver on Tuesday, as Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall each had a goal and an assist during a three-goal second period. Shawn Horcoff scored and Nikolai Khabibulin, coming off his first shutout of the season against the Rangers on Saturday, stopped 35-of-37 shots.
"It wasn't pretty, but it was good. We'll take it," Edmonton head coach Tom Renney said.
Defenseman Ryan Whitney suffered a right knee injury in the first period and is unlikely to play Thursday for the Oilers, whose four wins this season have come against playoff teams from last season. After tonight's game the Oilers will play seven of their next eight matchups on the road.
Washington and Edmonton are meeting for the first and only time this season. The Caps have won two straight and three of the past four games in this series with the Oilers, who suffered a 5-0 loss in the previous meeting on March 9, 2011 at the Verizon Center. Washington has dropped eight of its previous 11 games at Rexall Place.
Vokoun is 6-10-5 with a 2.89 goals against average and an .897 save percentage lifetime against the Oilers. He owns a 3-7-1 mark in 11 starts at the Oilers and hasn't won on the road in this series since March 24, 2007 as a member of Nashville.
10/27 10:53:11 ET