[12:30 PM] Blue Jackets @ Capitals

Who will WIN this matchup?

Columbus Blue Jackets (9-4-2)

@ Washington Capitals (11-4-2)


Starting Goalies:

Sergei Bobrovsky(CBJ): Confirmed

Braden Holtby(WSH): Likely


A club-record seven-game home winning streak and a respectable 2-2-2 away record are indications that the Columbus Blue Jackets are starting to turn the corner on the road to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Columbus tries to take the next step in that direction Sunday afternoon when it visits the Washington Capitals, who are not at full strength with three players sustaining injuries in Friday’s 1-0 victory over Detroit.

Matt Calvert needed more than 30 stitches after taking a slap shot off the forehead, but returned to score the game-winning goal Friday – a short-handed tally – for his second score of the season. Zach Werenski, a 19-year-old rookie defenseman, continues to impress with three goals in his last five games and has five to go along with eight assists and a plus-5 rating overall this season. Sergei Bobrovsky (9-4-1, .932 save percentage, 2.20 goals-against average) is expected to make his 15th start after allowing a total of three goals in his last two games.

Washington’s special teams take a hit with the absence of penalty-killers Oshie and Eller, who is doubtful to play Sunday, and power-play participants Oshie and Burakovsky, who is listed as day-to-day but could play Sunday. Captain Alex Ovechkin shares the team scoring lead with Oshie in goals while Nicklas Backstrom paces the club with 15 points after recording two goals and three assists in Wednesday’s 7-1 victory over Pittsburgh. Braden Holtby (9-3-1, .930, 1.91) continues to validate his 2015-16 Vezina Trophy season after making several big stops among his 25 saves Friday for his first shutout of the season.

The Capitals almost lost a fourth forward Friday when Wilson was hit into the boards from behind by Detroit D Danny DeKeyser, resulting in a five-minute major and game misconduct, but the rugged forward returned after a brief trip to the dressing room.

The Blue Jackets are 1-for-16 on the power play over their last six games while Washington hasn’t allowed a PP goal in its last three contests (11 chances).

Capitals coach Barry Trotz will likely make a roster move or two Saturday, telling reporters: “We have plenty of guys in Hershey that have NHL experience and good players that can come up and give us great games if needed, and we have guys on our third and fourth line that are anxious to step into bigger roles.”


StreakSmarts Pick: Washington Capitals  

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick