Caps host Predators, Finding Offense edition
In the past three games, the Washington Capitals have mustered just three total goals. In that same three-game span, the NHL's leading goal scorer Steven Stamkos has managed four tallies.
The Caps' hunt for offense won't get any easier when they welcome the Nashville Predators to town tonight. The Predators allow just 2.59 goals per game, which ranks in the top half of the NHL in that department.
They also boast one of the league's very best between the pipes in last year's Vezina Runner-up Pekka Rinne. But the Caps catch a break as it will be backup Anders LIndback in net for the Preds tonight as Rinne will get the night off in D.C.
The hulking 6'6 Lindback is 2-2 with a 2.52 GAA and .903 SV % in just six games this season spelling Rinne. He was 11-5 in 22 appearances for the club last season.
He'll be opposed by Michal Neuvirth, who starts for the third-straight time in place of Tomas Vokoun for the Caps. Neuvirth has been outstanding since replacing Vokoun early in last week's blowout against the Flyers on Tuesday. He blanked the Jets in Winnipeg two days later and was solid in allowing two goals on 28 shots last Saturday in Colorado.
Capitals forward Mike Knuble will play in his 1,000th career game on Tuesday. The 39-year-old veteran will be the 267th player in history to accomplish the feat. He has also spent time in his NHL career with the Red Wings, Rangers, Bruins and Flyers in addition to his latest stint in Washington with the Caps.
Knuble and Co. will have to adjust to some line changes from coach Dale Hunter in order to spark some offense. Marcus Johansson has moved up to the top line to join Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin while vetern Jeff Halpern now finds himself centering a line of Alex Semin and Troy Brouwer.
The other lines remain intact with Brooks Laich centering Jason Chimera and Joel Ward and Mathieu Perreault centering Matt Hendricks and Mike Knuble.
Hunter hopes the new lines will produce more offense five on five, where the Caps have struggled to score, putting more pressure on the powerplay to produce lately. Alex Ovechkin has four goals and four assists in six career games against the Predators.
Pucks drops at 7 pm. Follow @Duce_90 on Twitter for game updates and commentary.