NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 17th
(All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (21-22-4) at Washington Capitals (19-21-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals will aim for their sixth victory in
eight games tonight, when the Edmonton Oilers visit DC for a battle at the
Washington is 13-7-4 since Bruce Boudreau took over for Glen Hanlon as head
coach. Hanlon went just 6-14-1 in the first 21 games of the season.
The Capitals have also won three of their last four tilts and are coming off
another victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa Senators.
Washington swept the season series against the Sens on Tuesday evening, as the
Caps notched a 4-2 home decision. Alexander Semin had two goals and an assist
to lead Washington, which went 4-0 against Ottawa this season.
It was the first game for Washington since it learned that centerman Michael
Nylander will miss the rest of the season due to shoulder surgery. Nylander is
first on the team in assists (26) and second in points (37).
Alexander Ovechkin and Mike Green also scored for the Capitals, while Brent
Johnson made 26 saves in net.
Ovechkin has five points (4 goals, 1 assist) in his last four contests and is
leading Washington in goals (34) and points (55) this season.
Tonight marks the fourth segment of a five-game homestand for the Caps, who
are 10-11-1 as the host this season. Washington will complete the residency
Saturday night against Florida.
The Oilers, meanwhile, had a season-high four-game winning streak halted their
last time out, as the Los Angeles Kings posted Tuesday's 3-1 decision in
Edmonton. Patrick O'Sullivan had a goal and an assist and Jason LaBarbera
turned away 32 shots to lead the Kings.
Dustin Penner had the lone goal for Edmonton, which would have finished its
homestand a perfect 5-0 with a win. Mathieu Garon made 33 saves in net.
Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky each come into tonight's tilt with five-game
point streaks for Edmonton. Horcoff has three goals and six assists during his
run, while Hemsky has notched two tallies and six helpers.
The Oilers are 9-10-3 as the visiting team this year and the club kicks off a
five-game road trip tonight. The swing is the longest of the year for Edmonton
and also features road stops against Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Florida.
Edmonton has lost four of its last five road contests.
The Oilers have won three of the last four encounters with the Capitals.
However, Edmonton, which is making its first stop in Washington since January
11, 2004, has lost five straight in the nation's capital.
01/17 10:39:07 ET