Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Preview: Washington Capitals at Stars
By Mark Stepneski
Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars
Thursday December 2
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
About the Stars
The Stars (14-8-1) won their fourth straight game with a 4-1 victory at Carolina Monday. James Neal scored twice and Steve Ott and Jamie Benn also scored. Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots. It was the third straight win for the Stars.
“The most satisfying thing is it was a total team effort from us,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “We got great goaltending from Kari Lehtonen. I thought our defense was very good in front of him. I thought our forwards backchecked extremely well. We were very supportive all night long. When we had the puck offensively, I thought we did a great job of controlling it deep in the zone and scored some goals because we possessed the puck and forced them into mistakes.”
The Stars scored at least four goals in eight of their first 12 games this season but Monday’s win at Carolina was only the second time that they “scored four” in 11 games since then. (Elias Sports Bureau).
Crawford said he would decide Thursday on a starting goaltender.
Injuries: D Mark Fistric (groin) is doubtful.
About the Capitals
The Capitals (18-6-2) ran their winning streak to four games with a 4-1 victory in St. Louis Wednesday night. Nicklas Backstrom scored two goals and added assist and Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves for the Capitals.
"I played my best game here today," Varlamov said through an interpreter. "The team played real well in front of me. They've continued to do that for the last four games.”
Defenseman Scott Hannan, acquired from Colorado for forward Tomas Fleischmann on Tuesday, did not play Wednesday. He is expected to make his Caps debut Thursday against the Stars.
Injuries: D Tyler Sloan (undisclosed) is out.
- This is the first and only meeting between the two teams this season.
- The Stars won last season’s meeting, topping the Capitals 4-3 in a shootout in Washington.
- The Stars are 8-0-2 against Washington in the last 10 games in Dallas.
- The Stars have allowed just 5 goals during their current four-game winning streak.
- The Capitals have scored 4 goals or more in 10 of their last 16 games.
- The Stars are 6-0-1 in their last seven home games and have outscored their opponents 28-15, averaging 4.0 goals for and allowing 2.1 against.
- Washington is 2-2-1 in its last five road games.
- The Stars are 10-10 on the penalty kill over the last five games.
- The Capitals are 7-21 on the power play over the last six games.
- Washington is 12-12 on the penalty kill over the last three games.
- The Stars are 1-12 on the power play over the last five games.