Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series tied 1-1

Game 1: Tuesday, November 15th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 20th

Capitals 1

(10-5-1, 21 pts)

Predators 3

(9-5-3, 21 pts)

8:00 PM ET, November 15, 2011

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 T
WSH 0 0 11
NSH 0 0 33

P. Rinne (Predators - G): Saves: 39, Save Pct.: .975

C. Wilson (Predators - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

M. Erat (Predators - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Capitals-Predators Preview


The Washington Capitals will embark on a three-game road trip with the hopes of ending their recent struggles.

Visiting the Nashville Predators could make for a solid start.

Washington seeks its sixth straight victory over Nashville when the teams meet Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena.

The Capitals (10-4-1) have lost three of their last four games following a 3-2 shootout loss to New Jersey on Saturday, blowing a two-goal, first-period lead for the second time during their slump.

Troy Brouwer and Jason Chimera scored, though Alex Ovechkin was held without a goal for the fourth time in six games.

"My job is to score goals, not to make hits," said Ovechkin, who was credited with 11 of them. "The second period, I probably had three chances to score, but I didn't do the right thing."

Ovechkin may have a solid chance of bouncing back against the Predators, against whom he has four goals and four assists in five career matchups. He assisted on Brooks Laich's overtime goal in the most recent meeting Oct. 16, 2010, a 3-2 overtime victory that was Washington's fifth straight in the series.

The Capitals have won their last three visits to Nashville, a streak former Predator Joel Ward hopes to help continue. Ward spent the previous three seasons with Nashville before signing with Washington during the offseason.

"As a guy who you said he was really tough to play against while he was in Nashville, he's done a really great job for us," coach Bruce Boudreau said of Ward, who has four goals and three assists.

Washington ranks fourth in the NHL with 54 goals, but it will be up against one of the best defensive pairings in the NHL with Ryan Suter and Norris Trophy finalist Shea Weber anchoring the Nashville blue line.

"Those guys are two of the best as a pairing that have come along in a long, long time," Boudreau said.

The Predators (8-5-3) are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss at home to Montreal on Saturday, with Weber scoring their lone goal. They are 5-1-2 in their last eight games and possess one of the league's top shorthanded units, killing 88.4 percent of their penalties.

Patric Hornqvist had seven goals and four assists during a seven-game point streak which was snapped Saturday, while David Legwand has three goals and three assists over his last five.

"I think we're feeling pretty confident and guys are playing well together," said Pekka Rinne, who is 5-0-2 with a 2.11 goals-against average over his last seven starts. "We need to turn these one-point games into two-point games."

Rinne has never faced Washington, though Capitals goaltender Tomas Vokoun is familiar with Nashville.

Vokoun, who spent eight seasons with the Predators and is the franchise's all-time wins leader with 161, is 8-2-0 with a 2.39 GAA this season and 1-2-0 with a 2.01 GAA against his former team.

Washington defenseman Mike Green will not make the trip to Nashville, but Boudreau said he hopes Green can join the team in either Winnipeg on Thursday or Toronto on Saturday.

Green is day to day after a knee-to-knee collision in the first period Friday's 3-1 win in New Jersey. He had missed the previous six games with a twisted right ankle.