News, notes and quotes as the Capitals get ready to take on the San Jose Sharks tonight at Verizon Center (6:30 p.m. pregame, CSN):
Waiting on Ovi: The Capitals will know closer to pregame warmups whether captain Alex Ovechkin will be in the lineup. Ovechkin missed Tuesday morning’s pregame skate for what coach Barry Trotz called personal reasons.
If Ovechkin cannot play, look for Marcus Johansson to take his place on a top line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie, with rookie Stan Galiev possibly sliding onto the second line with Andre Burakovsky and Justin Williams. If Ovechkin can play, Galiev is likely to be a healthy scratch.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said his game plan won’t change if Ovechkin is out of the lineup.
“They’re a deep team,” he said. “Obviously, with him in you have to pay special attention to him. On the power play he’s key. But even if he’s not in we can’t take a deep breath and relax. That’s a very deep team offensively over there. I’m not hoping that he’s out, but (if he is) we still have to respect the fact they have a lot of other weapons over there.”
Special teams: The Caps went 2-for-5 on the power play in their season-opening 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils, while the Sharks are a perfect 7-for-7 on the penalty kill. DeBoer devoted time to the PK at Tuesday morning’s practice, placing himself in Ovechkin’s and Oshie’s favorite shooting spots.
“Everybody knows what they’re going to do but everybody has trouble stopping it,” DeBoer said. “(Joel Ward) has given us some insight into some of their tendencies, but for us it’s just making sure we stay out of the box. I think that’s the best recipe to kill it.”
The Sharks are 2-for-9 on the power play, while the Caps are 2-for-3 on the penalty kill, with a shorthanded goal.
Ovi closing in on 900: Alex Ovechkin (476 goals, 421 assists) is three points shy of hitting 900. Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, Ovechkin has posted 135 more goals and 44 more points than any other player. Only four players have scored more goals than Ovechkin’s 475 in their first 10 seasons -- Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux and Brett Hull. Ovechkin ranks first in franchise history in goals (476), points (897), power-play goals (176), game-winning goals (80), overtime goals (15), shots (3,834) and multi-goal games (100).
400 for Carly: Tonight will mark John Carlson’s 400th game as a Capital and his 380th consecutive game. That’s the second-longest consecutive games played streak in Capitals history, trailing only Bob Carpenter (422).
Remember me? The last time the Caps and Sharks met on Feb. 11 in San Jose, guess who scored the game-winning goal in overtime? Yep, Joel Ward. The Caps won 5-4.
Bearded ones: Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, 30, owns one of the best beards in the NHL and now Joe Thornton is looking to replicate it. Thornton, 36, is beginning his 17th NHL season and 10th with the Sharks.
Tonight’s projected lineups: