It has been a tough road trip for the Vancouver Canucks and it gets tougher as they take on the Washington Capitals on Sunday. It is the fourth stop on the five-game road trip.
Once again, it is an early start time for the Canucks but this time it is an hour later so you can get an extra hour of sleep. Puck drop is at 11:00 AM Pacific Time.
The Canucks are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes and in that game, the power play’s struggles continued. The man advantage went 0/5.
“On this trip, I think it’s let us down a bit,” said Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau on the team’s struggles on the power play after the loss in Carolina per Thomas Drance of The Athletic.
Vancouver’s power play has gone 0/12 on the road trip so far. They have also been outscored 13-5 and not had a lead during the trip.
The Capitals currently sit third in the Metropolitan Division with a 21-8-9 record. They also sit sixth in the entire league with 51 points. Washington snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday. Vitek Vanecek got the shutout with 23 saves.
Speaking of goaltenders, it looks like Thatcher Demko will get the start for two days in a row. That would be his fifth straight start. Jaroslav Halak was placed into COVID-19 protocol shortly before the game against the Hurricanes began and Spencer Martin was recalled from the taxi squad.
For the Capitals, expect Ilya Samsonov to get the start.
Boudreau believes Demko is capable of starting back-to-back games with no rest.
“I have no concerns about Demko being able to go back to back,” said Boudreau per Drance.
Players to watch:
Washington Capitals- Alex Ovechkin: At the time of this writing, Ovechkin is second in the NHL in goals with 26. The Capitals’ superstar is also in a four-way tie for the NHL’s points lead with 53. He is tied with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers and Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers.
Vancouver Canucks- Bo Horvat: The Canucks’ captain got the only goal against Hurricanes and managed to get five shots on goal. The top six needs to get going and it’s up to Horvat to lead the way.
Another reminder that the puck drops at 11:00 AM. You can watch the game on Sportsnet Pacific or listen to the game on Sportsnet 650.