Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Washington leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 17th

Predators 2

(2-4-1, 5 pts)

Capitals 3

(4-2-2, 10 pts)

7:00 PM ET, October 17, 2009

Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

1 2 3 SO T
NSH 0 2 0 02
WSH 2 0 0 13

A. Ovechkin (Capitals - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

S. Weber (Predators - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

S. Varlamov (Capitals - G): Saves: 22, Save Pct.: .917

Predators-Capitals Preview


Now that their losing streak has ended, the Washington Capitals look to start one in a positive direction. Facing the offensively challenged Nashville Predators could help.

The Capitals look to hand the Predators a fifth consecutive loss Saturday night at the Verizon Center.

Alex Ovechkin scored twice in a 28-second span during the second period as Washington (3-2-2) snapped a four-game slide with a 4-1 win over San Jose on Thursday night.

"It's better to lose games right now than when it's more important," said Ovechkin, who scored for the first time in four games to give him a team-leading seven goals.

The victory could help the Capitals breathe a little easier after going 0-2-2 during their longest winless stretch since November 2007.

"I thought we were a really determined group," coach Bruce Boudreau told the Capitals' official Web site.

Alexander Semin scored his sixth goal while Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison each added two assists Thursday for the Capitals, who matched their combined goal total from the previous two games.

Among the NHL's top goal scorers, Ovechkin and Semin have fared well against Nashville (2-4-0) during their careers. Ovechkin has scored twice with three assists in three games and Semin has two goals and two assists in four.

Washington has won the last three meetings with Nashville, including both last season in games decided in overtime and a shootout.

After Jose Theodore left in the first period Thursday with back spasms, backup Semyon Varlamov made 15 saves to improve to 2-0-0 with a 3.58 goals-against average.

Theodore, 1-2-2 with a 2.67 GAA this season and 4-3-0 with a 2.52 GAA against Nashville, is considered day to day. Varlamov has never faced the Predators, whose seven goals in regulation are the fewest in the NHL.

Nashville was held to 13 shots -- two in the third period -- of a 3-1 loss to Chicago on Thursday. The Predators have been outscored 16-2 during their four-game skid after recording five regulation goals to win their first two contests.

"We have to keep firing pucks right now -- that has to be our main focus," forward Joel Ward told the Predators' official Web site.

Martin Erat scored his first goal Thursday for the Predators, whose coach continues to try to keep his frustrated club motivated.

"When things aren't going your way you almost have to play a perfect game," Barry Trotz said. "We've got to make our own breaks. When we get a chance to convert, we've got to convert."

Nashville's Jason Arnott has a team-leading three goals and six in his last five games against the Capitals. He scored twice in a 4-3 shootout loss at Washington on Oct. 28.

Pekka Rinne made 27 saves against Chicago, falling to 0-3-0 with a 3.71 GAA.

Dan Ellis could be back in net for the Predators after being pulled for allowing three goals on three shots in a 6-0 loss at Dallas on Wednesday. Ellis, 2-1-0 with a 3.16 GAA, is 0-1-2 with a 3.38 GAA against Washington.