After falling to the San Jose Sharks in heartbreaking fashion on Tuesday night, the Capitals will not have much time to dwell about the loss. The Caps are back in action on Wednesday, as they travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs, with Washington hoping to end their current six-game losing streak. Here is everything you need to know about the game:
1. Will the Capitals be able to avoid coming out of the gates sluggish? On Tuesday, it only took the Sharks 12 seconds into the first period to get the puck past goalie Braden Holtby. As NBC Sports Washington’s J.J. Regan pointed out, for a team that is currently on a losing streak, it’s hard to gain confidence when immediately playing from behind just seconds into the game.
2. Wednesday’s clash with the Maple Leafs marks the last time the Capitals will take the ice before the All-Star break. Washington certainly does not want to enter the weeklong break having dropped seven consecutive games. While Wednesday may not actually be a must-win game for the Caps, it sure feels like one.
3. Opponent to watch: John Tavares. The Toronto center has just three total points over the last five games, but remains one of the most dangerous players in hockey. For the Caps, stopping Tavares is the first order of business against the Maple Leafs.
Quote of the day:
“That’s not the way we need to play to win hockey games,” Holtby said. “We obviously haven’t been winning much lately. The solution isn’t to open up the game and go chance for chance. It’s a reality check.”
Last time these teams met:
Toronto defeated Washington 4-2 in October. For Toronto, both Auston Matthews and Kasperi Kapanen each tallied a goal and an assist in the victory.
Stat to know:
Over their six game losing streak, the Caps have allowed an average of 5.0 goals per game, including seven or more goals in three of the last four contests.