The Capitals (43-10-4, 90 points) will play their second game of a four-game homestand tonight when they take on the Arizona Coyotes (27-25-6, 60 points). Here are our AAA Keys to the Game:
Where they Caps stand: The Caps have won eight of their last nine games and lead the NHL with 90 points, 16 more than the second-place Rangers in the Metropolitan Division. If the season ended today they’d face the eighth-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins (68 points) in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Where the Coyotes stand: Arizona is coming off a 6-4 loss to the Blues, which ended a 2-1-0 homestand. The Coyotes 3-2-0 in their last five and 3-6-1 in their last 10. They sit in 10th place in the Western Conference standings, five points out of a playoff spot and 10 points ahead of the last-place Edmonton Oilers.
Who’s questionable for the Caps: Third-line center Marcus Johansson missed Monday’s morning skate with an illness and will be a game-time decision. If he can’t play look for Mike Richards to take his spot on the third line. If he can play, Richards likely will center a fourth line with Brooks Laich and Stan Galiev, whose speed would make him better suited to face the Coyotes than Michael Latta.
Who’s questionable for the Coyotes: Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson also will be a game-time decision after suffering a lower body injury Saturday night against the Blues. Ekman-Larsson leads the Coyotes with 45 points. He participated in the Coyotes' morning skate but his status remains uncertain.
Who’s in goal for the Caps: Braden Holtby (37-6-3, 2.17, .924) will make his 48th start for the Caps. He leads the NHL with 37 wins and is on pace for 53 wins in 68 starts. Last season Holtby had 41 wins in 73 starts.
Who’s in goal for the ‘Yotes: Louis Domingue, 23, pronounced (doh-MIHNG) will see the Caps for the first time. He is 12-9-4 with a 2.67 GAA and .913 save percentage in 25 games this season.
Milestone watch: Nicklas Backstrom is one goal shy of passing Kelly Miller (162) for 12th place on the Capitals franchise goals list.
Remember us: This is the first of two meetings between the two teams. The Caps are 31-26-12-2 all-time against Arizona and 21-9-5-1 at home against the Coyotes.
Who’s hot: Alex Ovechkin has four points in the past two games. Evgeny Kuznetsov has six points in his past four games. Max Domi has six points in his past three games.
MORE CAPITALS: Trotz: Orpik 'didn't even look rusty'
Braden Holtby (starter) - Philipp Grubauer
Louis Domingue (starter) - Niklas Treutle