The Capitals (47-13-4, 98 points) visit the Boston Bruins (36-23-6, 78 points) tonight at TD Garden (6:30 p.m. pregame, CSN). Here are our AAA Keys to the Game:
Starting goalies: Philipp Grubauer (7-5-1, 2,10, .926) is expected to start for the Caps, while Tuukka Rask (26-18-5, 2.52, .918) is expected to get the call for Boston.
Where they stand: Boston holds the third spot in the Atlantic Division, but are only four points ahead of the eight-place Pittsburgh Penguins.
“Boston’s playing very, very well right now,” Caps coach Barry Trotz said. “Who knows what happens? They might be a first-round opponent. There is still a lot of hockey to be played.”
How they fared: This is the third and final meeting between the teams this season. The Capitals have won five consecutive games against the Bruins, marking their longest winning streak against Boston in franchise history (150 games).
Road warriors: The Caps are 21-7-2 on the road this season, ranking first in the NHL in road point percentage (.733). The Caps’ 21 road wins are tied for the most road victories through a team’s first 30 road games in NHL history. This marks the first time the Capitals will play four games in five days since Dec. 26-30, 2006.
Jay Beagle said he hopes the Caps carry their strong play in the final two periods against the Rangers into tonight’s game.
“It’s going to be a tough game going into Boston,” he said. “I think when you finish strong like we did in the second and third, you keep building on that and you almost feel better. That’s what we’ve got to do is come out hard in the first and go after them.”
Schmidt in?: Caps defenseman Nate Schmidt sat out Friday night’s game against the Rangers but is expected to get into the lineup tonight.
One and done: The Capitals are the only team in the NHL without two consecutive regulation losses this season. The Caps are 11-0-1 record this season following a regulation loss and has outscored opponents 45-22 in those games.
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