News, notes and quotes as the Capitals (4-1-0, 8 points) prepare to face the Vancouver Canucks (3-1-2, 8 points) tonight at Rogers Arena (9:30 p.m. pregame, CSN):
Lineup change: Capitals coach Barry Trotz confirmed at the morning skate that Nate Schmidt will replace Taylor Chorney on the Caps’ third defense pairing. Schmidt has sat out the past three games, all wins, after going pointless and a minus-1 in his first two games. Chorney did not record a point and was a plus-3 in his three games alongside Dmitry Orlov. He took a holding penalty in Tuesday night’s 6-2 win over the Calgary Flames. Trotz said he simply doesn’t want one of his young defensemen sitting too long.
Where they stand: The Caps are coming off three straight wins by a combined score of 14-4. The Canucks have lost two straight after a 3-0-1 start.
Goalie matchup: In 30 career games against the Caps, Ryan Miller is 17-12-0 with a 2.50 GAA and .916 SP. Braden Holtby has faced the Canucks just once in his career and is 0-1-0 with a 4.13 GAA and .875 SP.
TKO Line: The Caps’ top line of Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin combined to record six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in Tuesday night’s win in Calgary and in the last three games the line has combined for six goals and eight assists.
Good numbers: The Caps rank first in the NHL in shots against per game (24.2) and first in goals per game (3.8). The Caps held the Flames to 19 shots on Tuesday, marking the second consecutive game they have held opponents to fewer than 20 shots. The last time the Capitals held their opponents to fewer than 20 shots in consecutive games was during the 2003-04 season.
Here are projected lineups for tonight:
Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Justin Williams
Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson
Brooks Laich - Chandler Stephenson - Andre Burakovsky
Brooks Orpik - John Carlson
Matt Niskanen - Karl Alzner
Dmitry Orlov –Nate Schmidt
Braden Holtby (starter) - Philipp Grubauer
Injured: Chris Brown (hand)
Scratches: Michael Latta, Taylor Chorney, Stanislav Galiev
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Radim Vrbata
Alexandre Burrows - Brandon Sutter - Jannik Hansen
Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Jake Virtanen
Brandon Prust - Jared McCann - Derek Dorsett
Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev
Dan Hamhuis - Matt Bartkowski
Ben Hutton - Luca Sbisa
Ryan Miller (starter) - Richard Bachman
Injured: Chris Higgins (foot), Jacob Markstrom (hamstring)
Scratches: Adam Cracknell, Yannick Weber