Edmonton at Washington
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Friday, February 24, 2017
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
Superstars Alex Ovechkin and Connor McDavid will square off for the third time when the NHL-leading Washington Capitals host the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night. McDavid, the league scoring leader in his second season, will be making his first appearance at Verizon Center as the Oilers continue their six-game road trip.
Edmonton improved to 4-1-0 in its last five games with a 4-3 overtime victory at Florida that snapped the Panthers' five-game winning streak. McDavid set up a pair of goals in a 4-1 home win over the Capitals on Oct. 26 and has the surprising Oilers in a tie for second place in the Pacific Division, three points behind San Jose. Washington's high-powered offense has not been as reliant on Ovechkin, who collected a pair of assists in Wednesday's 4-1 win at Philadelphia as the Capitals avoided a season high-tying three-game losing streak. "We lost two in a row and that's something we don't like, so it was important for our confidence and our whole team that we get a win and hopefully we can build off this," red-hot center Nicklas Backstrom said.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, TVAS, Sportsnet (Edmonton), CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)
ABOUT THE OILERS (33-20-8): McDavid set up Kris Russell's game-winner at Florida, his 48th assist and 39th point away from home -- both league-best totals. Edmonton is among the NHL's best road teams with 18 wins and much of that success is attributed to workhorse netminder Cam Talbot, who has appeared in a league-high 54 games and owns a sparking 16-6-5 mark with four shutouts away from home. The Oilers have had only four power-play chances in the past four games, converting once.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (40-12-7): Although Ovechin failed to register a shot on goal for the first time since March 2013, he was among seven Washington players with multiple points against Philadelphia. Centers Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nos. 1-2 on the team in assists, combined for three goals and kept up their respecting hot streaks. Backstrom has 33 points in his last 22 games to boost his team-leading total to 63 while Kuznetsov has amassed 38 points in the last 39 contests.
1. Ovechkin has 10 goals and 17 points in 13 games versus the Oilers.
2. Edmonton's Oscar Klefbom is tied for third among NHL defensemen with 11 goals.
3. Capitals D Matt Niskanen suffered a lower-body injury in Wednesday's game and sat out Thursday's practice.
PREDICTION: Capitals 3, Oilers 1
Stats and Records