News, notes and quotes as the Capitals (3-1-0, 6 points) begin a three-game road trip tonight (8:30 p.m. pregame, CSN) against the Calgary Flames (1-4-0, 2 points) at Scotiabank Saddledome:
Where they stand: The Caps are coming off a four-game homestand that ended with identical 4-1 victories over the Blackhawks and Hurricanes. The Flames are in the middle of three straight home games. They have lost three straight to the Blues, Jets and Oilers by a combined score of 12-6.
Chasing 900: Alex Ovechkin is one point away from hitting the 900 mark for his career. He has 478 goals and 421 assists and has scored a goal in three straight games. Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, Ovechkin has posted 137 more goals and 46 more points than any other player. Only four players have scored more goals (475) in their first 10 seasons than Ovechkin (Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Brett Hull).
Chasing Kono: Nicklas Backstrom needs one goal to pass Steve Konowalchuk (146) for 14th place on the Caps’ all-time goals list.
Calgary connections – Jay Beagle, a native of Calgary, played two seasons for the Calgary Royals of the Alberta Junior Hockey League from 2003-05. In 122 games he earned 107 points (38 goals, 69 assists) and 214 penalty minutes. Karl Alzner played in parts of five seasons for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, registering 117 points (19 goals, 98 assists) in 260 games from 2003-08.
Mirror image: Look for the Caps’ lines and defense pairings to look exactly the way they did on Saturday night when Nicklas Backstrom centered a second line with Maercus Johansson and Justin Williams, and rookie Chandler Stephenson centered a fourth line with left wing Brooks Laich and right wing Andre Burakovsky. Caps coach Barry Trotz said he may move Burakovsky up to the second line in place of Williams or on the top line in place of T.J. Oshie on occasion, especially after Williams and Oshie are on the penalty kill.
“Burt’s pretty good offensively,” Trotz said. “He can move up a little bit. He’s going to be a little bit of a swing guy for a little bit here. When I need speed I can move him up. I’d like to get Osh down from 22 to 24 minutes. It’s too much for a forward. I’d like to get him around 20 or under.”
Oshie logged 24:40 against the Sharks and 21:45 in the Caps’ season opener.
Brotherly love: Alzner said the Caps’ 5-0 loss to the Sharks last week might have been just what the Caps needed early just two games into the season.
“Everybody was feeling extremely confident and it was good to get a reality check to let us know we haven’t accomplished anything yet,” Alzner said. “The team looks good on paper but we needed to know we’re in a fight and there are a lot of good teams out there.”
Alzner said the Caps are excited to get away on their first road trip of the season.
“Usually we get a day off in a city and go for lunch and dinner,” he said. “We’ll get to see how everybody is when they’re away from the house. We start jabbing each other more and start to see the brotherly love coming out.”
Here are projected lineups for tonight:
Dmitry Orlov -Taylor Chorney
Injured: Chris Brown (hand)
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Michael Frolik
Beau Bennett - Mikael Backlund – Jir Hudler
Brandon Bollig – Matt Stajan –Josh Jooris
Micheal Ferland –Joe Colborne – David Jones
Mark Giordano – Dougie Hamilton
Kris Russell – Dennis Wideman
Brett Kulak – Deryk Engelland
Kari Ramo (starter) – Jonas Hiller
MORE CAPITALS: Hendricks placed on IR, will miss Friday's game against Caps