Where: Capital One Arena
When: Saturday, March 5, 2022; 4:00pm PST
Wait, who are we playing? Landlubber’s Guide to the Washington Capitals
Local TV: ROOT Sports NW
Streaming: ESPN+ for out-of-market fans
Local Radio: 950 AM KJR
SiriusXM: Channel 219
Last Time Out
The first time these two teams met was during that brief but beautiful stretch of games where the Kraken looked like giant killers. Seattle took down the Capitals in Seattle 5-2 before going on to beat the Hurricanes and the Panthers in two of their next three. The Capitals game, all the way back in November, started like your typical Kraken game — a defensive zone turnover that led to a Capitals goal on their very first shot on net. However, the next 56 minutes all went Seattle’s way, and goals from Adam Larsson (his first as a Kraken) and Calle Järnkrok (his first point as a Kraken) led them to a 5-2 victory.
Stats, Streaks, & Droughts
Seattle snapped a 7-game losing streak on Wednesday with a really fun win over the Nashville Predators. It was their third losing streak that lasted at least 6 games. It’s worth noting though that the first 6-game losing streak ended...against the Washington Capitals. Does that mean we are in for a few big wins right now? I’m saying yes and you can’t stop me.
The Capitals come into this one winning only 4 of their last 10 games, with two of those wins coming against the Canadiens and the Flyers. They last played on Thursday and got a huge 4-0 shutout against the Hurricanes, however, which is a great way to get back on track. Kraken legend Vitek Vanecek made 36 saves in the game, the most in a Capitals shutout since fellow Kraken legend Philipp Grubauer.
Players To Watch
The big one to watch is always the seemingly ageless Alex Ovechkin, especially on the power play...
Then there’s his partner on the ice (and off the ice) Nicklas Backstrom...
And of course the Kraken will have to keep their heads on a swivel when Tom Wilson is out there...
Injuries, Illnesses, Additions, & Scratches
There’s some big news on this front for Seattle, as both Jared McCann and Jaden Schwartz are expected to be back in the lineup tonight. McCann has missed the last three games with an upper body injury and Schwartz has yet to see a game in 2022 after having surgery on his hand. What has been Seattle’s top line of Schwartz, McCann and Eberle could be hitting the ice once again for the first time in over two months.
The Capitals come in quite healthy to this one. TJ Oshie missed most of February but he’s been back in the lineup for the past four games. Carl Hagelin and Joe Snively are on injured reserve for Washington, which hurts their depth but leaves the top six as dangerous as ever.
Odds & Ends
- Chris Driedger will get the start in net for the Kraken for the second straight game. Philipp Grubauer missed a day of practice earlier this week, but head coach Dave Hakstol has said it was only a rest day for him. He’ll be backing up Driedger once again, but that’s something to keep an eye on.
- The captain Mark Giordano is playing in his 1,000th career NHL game tonight, a huge accomplishment for an undrafted defensemen. He’s the 27th undrafted player in NHL history to reach that milestone, and 10th such defenseman.
- The Kraken’s penalty kill has been extremely hot as of late. Over their last 20 kill attempts, they’ve allowed two goals while scoring three of their own.
- Only two teams in the NHL have allowed more shots on goal per game than the Washington Capitals: the Los Angeles Kings and...the Seattle Kraken.