Talk about ending the home schedule in style.
The Arizona Coyotes will play their final home game of the season against the best team in the NHL: the Washington Capitals.
Matchup at a Glance
|Washington Capitals||Arizona Coyotes|
|Points||116 (1st Metropolitan)||75 (4th Pacific)|
|Goals For||3.08 (2nd)||2.58 (20th)|
|Goals Against||2.30 (1st)||2.97 (28th)|
|Power Play||23.0% (2nd)||18.7% (17th)|
|Penalty Kill||84.4% (4th)||77.8% (27th)|
|5v5 Corsi For||50.7% (15th)||47.0% (28th)|
|PDO||101.3 (3rd)||100.3 (12th)|
View from Washington
For the latest on the Washington Capitals, check out Japers' Rink
For most of the regular season, the Washington Capitals abused the rest of the NHL. It's a testament to Washington's dominance all year that a 9-4-2 month of March is considered cause for concern.
The Capitals are wrapping up a three game road trip that featured a shootout loss in Philadelphia followed by a regulation win in Colorado. Washington's success this season is due in large part to Braden Holtby, who has 47 wins so far to accompany his .923 save percentage and three shutouts.
Washington's offense is led - as usual - by Alex Ovechkin's 45 goals. But perhaps surprisingly, Ovechkin goal scoring prowess has only been good enough to carry him to 3rd on the team in scoring. Instead, Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the team in scoring with 20 goals and 55 assists, while Nicklas Backstrom is behind him with 20 goals and 47 assists.
As the playoffs draw closer, Washington is flying high with excellent offense and a top notch scoring defense. Caps fans are undoubtedly hoping for a better fate than the last time the Capitals won the Presidents' Trophy.
View from Arizona
Now officially eliminated from playoff contention, Arizona enters the regular season's garbage time with a host of injuries and injury call-ups. Arizona has called up Eric Selleck, Alex Grant, and Laurent Dauphin within the past week to replace their losses.
For players like Dauphin, Grant, and Selleck, the next week carries plenty of significance. Grant and Selleck are going to be looking for jobs on the free agent market, while Dauphin will be challenged by Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak in the team's plans for the future. A strong finish to the season would help all three prove their worth, be it to the Coyotes or to the rest of the league as a whole.
Keys to the Game
1. Be Aggressive - Washington has too much talent to sit back on. Arizona needs to push the pace as much as possible.
2. Take Advantage of the First Period - The Capitals are notorious for slow starts this season. Arizona needs to make the most of that weakness.
3. Try Not to Break Anything - The last thing the Coyotes want is to lose a player to a serious injury in the middle of meaningless regular season games. Heads need to stay on swivels, especially through the neutral zone.
Players to Watch
After six and a half highly productive seasons in Los Angeles, Justin Williams has been an excellent addition to Washington's forward corps, with 22 goals and 29 assists in 77 games.
Despite leaving mid-game with an injury, Martin Hanzal set a career high when he recorded his 41st point this season. He has three goals and four assists in his last five games.
Michael Latta is out indefinitely with illness, while Nicklas Backstrom is considered questionable for tonight.
Joe Vitale, Anders Lindback, and Michael Stone are all out for the remainder of the season with injuries, while Jarred Tinordi is out due to suspension. Martin Hanzal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson are considered questionable.
Tonight's game begins at 7 PM Arizona time. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Arizona or listen on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.