Coming off the adrenaline-pumping 5-1 win over the Sharks on Thursday, the Capitals will face the Anaheim Ducks Sunday evening in southern California.
The Capitals hope to maintain their energy with a win over the Ducks, the second-worst team in the Pacific Division.
The Ducks broke a seven-game losing streak — dating back to late January — with a win over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, but lost again to the Boston Bruins on Friday. The Ducks are seventh in the Pacific, just one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings.
The Caps’ fourth line has been inconsistent all season. While it’s fairly common to see teams mixing up their fourth line, NBC Sports Washington’s J.J. Reagan wrote on Friday that the Caps have less than a third of their season remaining, and they’re still searching for a consistent line.
The Caps last played the Ducks on Dec. 2, with the Ducks winning 6-5. The Capitals had a four-goal lead at one point; it began in the second period and carried over in the third. The team had “careless turnovers,” giving Anaheim the power they needed to win.
The question for this road trip is whether the Capitals will be able to maintain the momentum that looked to have started after the All Star Break. So far, they are 1-1 on the road trip, beating the San Jose Sharks on Thursday after opening the trip with a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Quote of the day:
“It just seemed like from the drop of the puck, guys were excited to play,” T.J. Oshie said following the win over the Sharks. “Guys were just happy and having fun, and if anyone knows anything about this team, we play our best when we’re having fun.”
Last time these teams met:
The Ducks beat the Capitals 6-5 in early December. The Caps blew their four-goal lead, which was the first time that happened since 2013.
Stats to know:
Alex Ovechkin is the NHL’s top goal-scorer going into Sunday’s game. He’s posted 39 goals so far, just 11 away from his eighth 50-goal campaign of his career. On the other hand, the Ducks’ leading goal-scorer is Jakob Silfverberg with 13.