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3 bold predictions: Can Caps end their skid against Sabres?

3 bold predictions: Can Caps end their skid against Sabres?

The Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres the day after Thanksgiving. That was the last time they've won. Now Washington will look to end a three-game skid as they host the Sabres again on Monday (7 p.m. on CSN).

Here are three bold predictions for Monday's game:

1. Jack Eichel will record two points

Buffalo managed only one goal the last time these two teams met, but that was without Jack Eichel. With him back in tow, this is a completely different offense. He should expect a heavy dose of Matt Niskanen and Karl Alzner, but Eichel is the real deal and has registered four points in his first two games back this season.

RELATED: NHL POWER RANKINGS: JUST A SLUMP OR IS IT TIME TO PANIC?

2. The Caps will not score on the power play

That's not really too bold these days considering Washington has only one power play goal in their last 16 opportunities. This would look like a good opportunity to get back on track considering Buffalo has the 29th penalty kill in the NHL (77.2 percent). The Sabres, however, do not take many penalties. Buffalo is ninth in minors taken this year and are 2-1-0 since losing to the Caps. They are not playing frustrated and are less likely to take foolish penalties. With fewer opportunities, the Caps' struggling power play is not likely to return to form.

3. Both teams will take roughing penalties and/or a fight in the third period

Considering that these two teams met last week and will play again on Friday, things will get physical late as both teams will look to send a message. That will result in some extended scrums and pawing, maybe even a fight. But I don't expect either team to really run away with this one, making a late fight unlikely.

MORE CAPITALS: DAILY QUOTE: 'WE NEED TO BE A LITTLE MORE GRITTY'

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WATCH: Alex Ovechkin's son Sergei has mastered his backhand shot

WATCH: Alex Ovechkin's son Sergei has mastered his backhand shot

Like father, like son.

Capitals star Alex Ovechkin is currently separated from his family while Washington finishes its season in the Toronto bubble. However, Ovi's absence hasn't stopped his son, Sergei, from working on his own game.

On Sunday, Ovechkin's wife Nastya shared a video to her Instagram page of Sergei ripping several backhand shots into a mini net, and it was quite impressive.

The Capitals reposted the video to their own social media account, tweeting out "Is this kid serious????"

What's even more incredible about the video is that Sergei is already demonstrating great puck skills before at such a young age, as Ovi Jr. doesn't turn two until later this month. I mean, just look at that hand-eye control!

If Sergei continues on this pace, his dad better watch out!

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How to watch Capitals vs. Lightning

How to watch Capitals vs. Lightning

Hockey is back, for real this time. Monday will mark the Washington Capitals' first action that counts in nearly five months.

Set up in the hub city of Toronto in the NHL bubble, the Capitals will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first round robin matchup as they play for seeding in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Washington has some practices, scrimmages and exhibitions under its belt, but Monday will be the first taste of live, physical hockey since March.

In what promises to be an exciting matchup, here's everything you need to know about Capitals vs. Lightning. 

CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Canada

When: Monday, August 3, 4:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals vs. Lightning will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports channel finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Lightning on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the MyTeams app.

RELATED: EVERYTHING TO KNOW FOR CAPS-LIGHTNING

CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING TV SCHEDULE

3:00 PM: Capitals Pregame Live (LIVE)
4:00 PM: Capitals vs. Lightning (LIVE)
6:30 PM: Capitals Postgame Live (LIVE)

CAPITALS VS. LIGHTNING WHAT TO WATCH

- John Carlson was an essential part of the Caps success during the first portion of the 2019-20 season, and they'll need him again during the restart. However, after an injury scare on Wednesday, Carlson's game status is still up in the air despite practicing on Saturday. 

- The hopes of the Capitals once again rest on the shoulders of Braden Holtby. With Ilya Samsonov out for the restart, it will be up to Holtby to perform in goal in what could be his last run in a Caps uniform.

-Alex Ovechkin is unquestionably one of the greatest players in NHL history, and he showed that he is always ready to go as he scored twice in the exhibition. Washington needs Ovi, and it looks like Ovi is ready. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE CAPITALS TALK PODCAST

CAPITALS VS. LIGHTNING PLAYERS TO WATCH

Capitals: Alex Ovechkin, LW (68 games, 48 goals, 19 assists, 67 points in 2019-20). On pace to lead the NHL in goals this season, Ovechkin is always a threat and the player you need to keep your eyes on. Summer of Ovi part two?

Hurricanes: Nikita Kucherov, RW (68 games, 33 goals, 52 assists, 85 points in 2019-20). Kucherov does it all for the Lightning, leading the team in points, goals and assists. He's just as lethal scoring as he is passing. 

Stay connected to the Capitals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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