[7:09 PM] Blues @ Capitals

Who will WIN this matchup?

St. Louis Blues (11-6-3)

@ Washington Capitals (11-5-2)


Starting Goalies:

Jake Allen (STL): Unconfirmed

Braden Holtby (WSH): Confirmed


The Washington Capitals still are waiting for their offense to get rolling like it did last season and hope to break out when the St. Louis Blues pay them a visit on Wednesday. The Capitals are in the middle of the pack in scoring (2.67 goals per game) and almost in the bottom-third of the league on the power play (15.4 percent) after finishing second and fifth, respectively, in 2015-16. Captain Alex Ovechkin has recorded nine goals and is on pace for 41 after scoring at least 50 in three straight seasons, but Washington is not getting as much production throughout the lineup and is without T.J. Oshie (upper body) – who has netted eight tallies – indefinitely.

The Capitals may be able to get in gear against the Blues, who finished fourth in goals allowed last season but have been mediocre in that category in 2016-17. However, St. Louis comes to the nation’s capital after posting its season-high fourth consecutive victory – a 4-2 triumph at Boston on Tuesday. Vladimir Tarasenko notched an assist in the contest to push his team-leading total to 20 points, and the talented Russian has scored three goals in five career games against Washington.

Jori Lehtera tripled his goal total for the season with a pair of tallies in Tuesday’s victory and defenseman Colton Parayko recorded two assists to push his total to nine in 2016-17. The Blues were without Alex Steen (concussion) for a third straight game, and the standout forward is not expected to play in Washington. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is second on the team in scoring with 14 points – nine on the power play – and Carter Hutton could be in net Wednesday after Jake Allen faced 41 shots in the win at Boston.

The biggest difference in Washington’s offense this season is the lack of production from Evgeny Kuznetsov, who has been held to two goals and seven points after finishing with 20 and a team-high 77 last season. Nicklas Backstrom leads the club with 17 points and Marcus Johansson is off to a nice start with seven goals and 13 points, which tie him with Ovechkin. Defensemen John Carlson and Matt Niskanen have collected 16 assists between them, but neither has scored a goal after combining for 13 last season.

Washington G Braden Holtby has won all three of his career starts against the Blues, allowing a total of three goals.


StreakSmarts Pick: Washington Capitals

Confidence: 6/10

StreakSmarter Pick