The Vancouver Canucks hope to extend one streak and halt another when they begin a five-game homestand Thursday against the Washington Capitals. Vancouver concluded a 4-1-0 road trip with three consecutive victories but has lost three straight at home (0-2-1) since edging Edmonton 3-2 in its season opener on Oct. 7.
The Canucks have outscored their opponents 9-3 during their winning streak, which was kept alive with a 1-0 triumph at Minnesota on Tuesday. Washington will be glad to kick off its three-game road trip as it has followed an identical pattern at home as Vancouver - winning its first contest before losing three straight, including a 4-1 setback against Florida on Saturday. The Capitals have been successful in enemy territory, earning points in four of their first five away from home (3-1-1). Washington would love for Alex Ovechkin to heat up again, as the captain has recorded just one goal in his last four games after scoring nine over his first five contests.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBCSN Washington, Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver)
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (4-4-1): Evgeny Kuznetsov fell one tally shy of his second straight 20-goal season in 2016-17 but remains in search of his first this season. The 25-year-old Russian has been contributing, however, as he tops the team and is among the league leaders with 12 assists. Washington will be without Andre Burakovsky for six-to-eight weeks as the 22-year-old left wing underwent successful surgery Tuesday on the left thumb he fractured in the loss to the Panthers.
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (5-3-1): Vancouver has an unlikely goal-scoring leader in Derek Dorsett, who netted four of his five tallies during a three-game span before being shut down by the Wild. The 30-year-old right wing eclipsed the five-goal mark only twice in his first nine NHL seasons, scoring a career-high 12 in 2011-12 with Columbus and seven for the Canucks in 2014-15 - his first campaign with the club. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto leads the team with 21 blocked shots and recorded six of Vancouver’s 14 in the win over Minnesota.
1. Canucks G Anders Nilsson has posted shutouts in two of his three starts this season after recording a total of two over his first 67 starts in the NHL.
2. Washington replaced Burakovsky on the roster with C Chandler Stephenson, who was recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League but has yet to record a point in 13 NHL contests.
3. Vancouver assigned G Thatcher Demko to Utica of the AHL.
PREDICTION: Capitals 5, Canucks 2