The Caps head to Columbus tonight looking to erase the memory of Saturday's loss to Carolina. Here are three predictions for Tuesday's game against the Blue Jackets (7:00 p.m. on CSN):
1. The Caps will score twice in the first period
Washington got its doors blown off in Carolina on Saturday and have had a few days to stew over that loss. Add in the new line combinations from head coach Barry Trotz looking to spark his team and the Caps will come into Columbus looking to get on the board early. The thing is, early goals have not been a problem for the Caps who have scored first in 11 of their first 14 games and are tied for third in the NHL with 16 goals in the first period.
2. The Caps and Blue Jackets will combine for more than six goals
While the Caps are looking for more scoring consistency, finding the back of the net has not been a problem for the Blue Jackets who rank second in the NHL in goals per game. Columbus has scored eight or more goals twice already this season which this means this could be a tough draw for backup Philipp Grubauer who is expected to get the start Tuesday. A motivated Caps team against the high-scoring Blue Jackets should mean plenty of goals.
3. The Caps' line will change by the third period
Trotz is shuffling the deck with some dramatic line combinations, but don't expect them to stick for the whole game. With all due respect to Jay Beagle, he's not a top line center. Either the message will be received by the team and they will play well which will lead to Trotz moving back to the more traditional combinations, or the offense will struggle and he will elect to switch lines to try and get the win. Either way, these lines are unlikely to last the full 60 minutes.
You can stream tonight's game at Columbus LIVE via csnmidatlantic.com/CapitalsStream starting at 6:30 p.m.