The Anaheim Ducks (13-10-5) travel to Washington to take on the Capitals (15-7-3) in a matinee matchup up. The contest being played on Sunday, December 2 at 3 PM ET features two clubs that have been hot of late. Washington comes in on a seven game win streak while the Ducks have won three contests in a row. Anaheim is 6-2-2 in their last ten games while the Caps are 8-2-0 in the same span. We see goaltending playing a large role in this matchup as well as the potency of the Capitals’ offense. Our Ducks play Capitals preview examines how we believe the teams will fare against the puckline.
John Gibson is projected to start for the Ducks. At this point in the year Gibson has been the largest reason Anaheim has had any success. Despite allowing the second most shots in the NHL, the Ducks sit in second place in the Pacific Division. Gibson has a 2.47 GAA and a .929 save percentage to this point on the year. He is second in total save and is the backbone of this Ducks team.
Braden Holtby is slated to start in net for Washington. Holtby had a rough start to the year but has been hot of late. In October the netminder compiled a 3.14 GAA and .888 save percentage. Last month these numbers improve drastically. In November he owned a 2.26 GAA and a .935 save percentage. He has been great at home as well which plays into the Caps’ favors. In 12 starts at Capital One Arena he has gone 7-3-1 with a 2.55 GAA and a .922 save percentage. He looks to be tough to beat against Anaheim.
Caps Offense Has been firing on all cylinders
The league’s fourth most potent offense has been hot during their current win streak. Over their last seven contests they have averaged 4.29 goals per game. They have received sizable contributions from all of their star players recently. Since returning from his suspension Tom Wilson has 13 points in nine games. During the win streak he has 12 points and rides a five game goal streak into Sunday. Alex Ovechkin (19-12-31) is currently on a 4 game goal streak and has had points in his last seven games.
The Capitals returned their number one center Evgeny Kuznetsov last game. He had an assist against New Jersey to add to the d 21 points in 18 games he had before his injury. Kuznetsov’s return allows Nicklas Backstrom (9-23-32) to move back to the second line. Backstrom has 12 points in the team’s last seven games including putting up a hat-trick along with an assists last game.
Anaheim Has kept it close recently
The Ducks have kept their recent games close but have been outshot in their last five contests. Despite this, they only dropped one game and it was to the Western Conference leading Nashville Predators. They have had trouble scoring though, putting only 12 pucks in the net over their last five games. Of those 12 goals, left winger Nick Ritchie (4-5-9) has had four. The Ducks will need contributions from more of their players if they hope to beat Braden Holtby, who has looked good as of late.
Ducks Play Capitals Preview – Free Pick
The Capitals have covered the puckline in each of their last five games. They did this without Kuznetsov in four of the five. His addition does nothing but help Washington’s offense which was dominant despite his absence. Coupled with a matchup against a Ducks team that has allowed the most scoring chances in the NHL and it looks like a recipe for a Caps’ win.