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Tonight on Versus: Caps look to shake off western Canada funk against angry Ducks

Alex Ovechkin Nicklas Backstrom Dennis Wideman John Carlson

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates his goal with teammates center Nicklas Backstrom (19), defenseman Dennis Wideman (6) and defenseman John Carlson (74 )during second period NHL hockey action against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)


What started out as a western Canada trip riding high for the Capitals turned into a brutal one thanks to losses to Edmonton (2-1) and Vancouver (7-4). All of a sudden, the Caps had injury worries to Mike Green (who is out again tonight) and a lingering question about who to start in goal upon returning home. Tonight, they’ll get the chance to fix things up at home against a Ducks team that’s angry (7:30 p.m. ET).

The Ducks too are coming in losers of two in a row. The way Anaheim has lost their pair of games, however, has them left feeling ornery. Mired in the middle of a seven-game road trip, the Ducks have been shut out 3-0 by Nashville and shutdown 3-1 by Columbus with each game providing its own heightened level of nonsense including four fights against an equally grumpy Blue Jackets team.

Two teams with losing streaks and unhappy with their play squaring off head-to-head. Sounds like the making of what should be a feisty game, eh?

On the bright side, the Caps have been getting goals from their main man Alex Ovechkin. Ovi had two goals against Vancouver and has found his stride as their offensive lynchpin. The Ducks, meanwhile, have gotten Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne to thank for a lot of their production of late. While Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are doing just fine, Ryan and Selanne have found some magic when working together.

In goal, the Caps aren’t yet sure which way they’ll go yet. It’ll either be Tomas Vokoun or Michal Neuvirth and after seeing Vokoun chased early from their 7-4 loss to Vancouver only to see Neuvirth have equal amounts of trouble... Flip a coin to see who starts. Jonas Hiller, meanwhile, has had a slow start to his season in coming back after dealing with vertigo last year.