The Capitals finally lost their first game of the season due to lack of discipline, but they’re not having nearly as many struggles as their next opponent.
The only team to post more points than Washington during 2010-11 was the Presidents’ Trophy winning Canucks, who went on to lose to Boston in the Stanley Cup finals. However, it’s the Capitals (7-1-0) who are off to a fast start this season while Vancouver (4-5-1) has been inconsistent and enters this game looking to avoid a third straight loss.
Washington still has one of the stingiest defenses in the NHL, giving up 2.00 goals per game, and has allowed the fewest even strength goals among East teams with 10.
Vokoun has allowed two goals or fewer in six straight starts overall, and five in a row in Vancouver.
Alex Ovechkin, who went scoreless Thursday, has been held without a point in three straight games against the Canucks after recording a goal and assist each of the first two times he faced them.
The Capitals are 1-6-1 in their last eight games against the Canucks, including three straight defeats in Vancouver since last winning there Feb. 14, 2001.
The Canucks (4-5-1) hope to extend that drought as they try to rebound from losses on back to back nights.
Cory Schneider got the nod in goal in a 3-0 loss to St. Louis on Wednesday after Roberto Luongo was pulled the previous night in the second period of a 3-2 defeat at Edmonton.
Roberto Luongo is 12-1-0 in his last 13 starts against the Capitals while posting a 2.10 goals against average.
Luongo, 2-3-1 with a 3.46 GAA to open this season, allowed three goals on 14 shots Tuesday before being pulled as he was twice in last season’s Cup finals.
However, the Canucks know there’s plenty of blame to go around for their slow start.
Sedin, the team leader with 12 points, has been held scoreless the last two games.
Washington Capitals – Tomas Vokoun
Vancouver Canucks – Roberto Luongo
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