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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, October 23rd (All times eastern)

Washington Capitals (3-2-1) at Phoenix Coyotes (2-3-0), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Reigning NHL scoring champ Alexander Ovechkin will try to get on track tonight, as his Washington Capitals visit the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.

Ovechkin led the league with 65 goals a year ago, but has gotten off to a slow start this season for Washington. Last year's MVP has been held without a goal in each of the Capitals' last four games, though he does have assists in back- to-back games.

The Capitals are off to a 3-2-1 start despite the struggles by Ovechkin, who has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in two career games versus Phoenix.

Washington began its three-game road trip with a 2-1 setback in Calgary on Tuesday. Sergei Fedorov scored the lone goal, while Alexander Semin had a three-game goal-scoring streak halted. Semin, who leads Washington with six goals and 10 points, had lit the lamp five times over his run.

Fedorov's marker was one of history, as it was the 473rd of his career. That ties him with Alexander Mogilny for most goals scored in league history by a Russian-born player.

Jose Theodore allowed two goals on 28 shots in a losing effort, and has never lost to Phoenix in his career. In nine tests lifetime against Phoenix, he is 5-0-0 with three ties and a 2.67 goals-against average.

Phoenix wrapped up a four-game road trip on Saturday in Montreal, falling 4-1 to the Canadiens. After opening the trek with a victory in Anaheim, the Coyotes dropped their final three contests of the swing in regulation.

Shane Doan scored the Coyotes lone goal, his team-leading fourth of the season, with Zbynek Michalek and Steven Reinprecht getting the assists.

Ilya Bryzgalov was beaten four times on 33 shots. He has never faced Washington in his career.

Olli Jokinen scored three goals and had two assists in eight games versus Washington last year while with Florida. In his first season with Phoenix after an offseason trade, Jokinen leads the club with five assists and six points.

Phoenix begins a four-game homestand tonight and do so with enforcer Daniel Carcillo, who served the second game of his two-game suspension on Saturday. Carcillo earned the ban for a fight against Chicago on October 15.

The Coyotes won their only other home game so far this season, defeating Columbus on October 11.

The Coyotes have won three of their last four against the Capitals, but have dropped two straight as the host against them. These two clubs are meeting in Phoenix for the first time since January 16, 2006.

10/23 10:43:54 ET

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