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Prediction recap: Jakub Vrana to the rescue

Prediction recap: Jakub Vrana to the rescue

The Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils 1-0 on Thursday setting a franchise record for consecutive wins at home with 14.

Here’s a recap of the three bold predictions.

1. The Caps will trail after the first period - Wrong

Washington indeed looked a little sleepy after a 0-0 first period, but New Jersey sure didn’t put up much of a fight either. In fact, the Devils barely put up a fight at all with only 15 shots on goal for the entire game. They seemed content to force overtime from the opening face off. Bold strategy, Cotton.

RELATED: Caps set franchise record with unsightly win

2. Kevin Shattenkirk will not register a point – Correct

Shattenkirk was held off the scoresheet despite playing a team-high 21:24 including 7:23 on the power play. After the game, I wrote about how seamless his transition has been thus far and how much trust Barry Trotz already seems to have in him. He looks right at home, but I am still taking the point for being right.

3. Jakub Vrana will score – Boom!

Sometimes you get a prediction right and sometimes you nail it. This was the latter. Vrana didn’t just score on Thursday, he scored the only goal of the entire game. In what was a very sleepy contest, Vrana was one of the few players who jumped off the ice at you almost every time he was on the puck. When he scored in the third period, I wasn’t surprised at all. That’s not because of my prediction, it’s just because of the way he played all night.

2017 results: If you ignore my results for the year and just look at how I did Thursday, it looks like I actually know what I’m doing.

Correct: 25
Wrong: 46.5
Push: 3

MORE CAPITALS: Tarik El-Bashir on Jakub Vrana's speed against the Devils

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Vrana returns and other morning notes ahead of Saturday's game against the Wild

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Vrana returns and other morning notes ahead of Saturday's game against the Wild

Coming off a poor two-game road trip, Capitals Coach Barry Trotz elected to keep his lineup mostly familiar with Bruce Boudreau and a hot Wild team coming to town.

Here’s how they’re expected to line up tonight on F Street:

Forwards
Stephenson – Backstrom – Oshie
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Smith-Pelly
Vrana – Eller – Wilson
Connolly – Beagle – Chiasson
Extra: Walker

Defense
Orpik – Carlson
Orlov – Niskanen
Chorney – Bowey
Extra: Ness

RELATED: HOW TO WATCH CAPS-WILD

Now for some notes, quotes and observations from the morning skate:

  • Braden Holtby (10-4-0/2.68 gaa/.918 Sv%) is scheduled to return to the net for Washington. It’s likely Devan Dubnyk will get the nod for Minnesota, which has won four games in row. Dubnyk (8-6-1/2.28 gaa/.922 Sv%) earned shutouts in three of those games.
  • After getting smoked 6-3 and 6-2 in Nashville and Colorado, respectively, the Caps are looking to get things back on track at home, where they’ll play the next four games in a row and nine of the next 10. The good news? T.J. Oshie and Co. have won their last four games on home ice after a 1-3 start there.
  • The only lineup change for the Caps is Jakub Vrana returning after sitting out Thursday as a healthy scratch. Vrana has two points—both goals—in his last 13 games...and one was scored into an empty net.
  • Trotz was pretty direct when asked where his team needs to improve after a couple of ugly losses on the road. “We were executing, playing pretty solid and in a groove, if you will,” Trotz said of the Caps winning five of six games to start the month. “But it’s gone off the rails a little bit here in the last two games. We’re the only ones that can get it back. …We’ve had too many passengers. Everything starts with our best players. Tonight, we’re going to need our best players to be the best players because everyone else will follow.”
  • Christian Djoos, who suffered an upper-body injury in Nashville and missed the Colorado game, did not skate Saturday. “I don’t know exactly when he’s going to skate yet,” Trotz said. “He’s still day-to-day with the trainers. Once they tell me he can skate, he’ll be out there.”
  • Tyler Graovac, in Hershey on a long-term conditioning stint, figures to be back soon. He’s got a goal and an assist in two games with the Bears. Although the stint is set to end this weekend, Trotz said he plans to talk to Graovac and that his stay in Hershey could be extended to a fourth or fifth game with the player’s permission. “I’ve set it up with him and I have good communication with him,” Trotz said. “[So] if he needs a fourth or a fifth game, we’ll talk and we’ll decide. …There’s a possibility that he could return as soon as Monday or as late as next Friday.” 

 

MORE CAPITALS: CAPS' FIRST QUARTER REPORT CARD

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Game 21: Capitals vs. Wild Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 21: Capitals vs. Wild Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Minnesota Wild

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Wild will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Wild game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

 You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-WILD GAME?

The Capitals (10-9-1) take on the Wild (9-7-2) Saturday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-WILD GAME ON?

The Capitals-Wild game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Capitals GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington following the game for Caps Extra, Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:30 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals vs. Wild
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-WILD GAME?

The Capitals-Wild game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-WILD OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.