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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 26th (All times Eastern)
Washington Capitals (5-5-0) at Calgary Flames (4-4-2), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - A red-hot Alex Ovechkin will try to help his Washington Capitals win a fourth straight game, as the Calgary Flames host an interconference matchup Saturday at the Saddledome.
Ovechkin, who led the NHL with 32 goals during last year's lockout-shortened campaign, already has a league-leading 10 markers in 10 games in 2013-14. The Russian sniper has scored a goal in eight of his 10 outings and has five tallies in his last four trips to the ice.
Washington earned its third straight win, and second in a row to start a five- game road trip, by beating the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom each posted a goal and an assist, while Jason Chimera and Joel Ward also scored for the Capitals in the 4-1 decision.
"We were a little shaky in the first since this was our first time in this building," said Washington head coach Adam Oates. "But the guys settled down and we were able to dictate the play there for a while."
Braden Holtby stopped 30 shots in the win and is expected to make a sixth straight start in net on Saturday.
The Caps have two games left on this trip, but will be done with the Western Conference portion after visiting Vancouver on Monday. Washington will then close the swing Friday at Philadelphia.
The Flames will try to get back on track tonight, having lost two straight and four of their last five games following a 3-0-2 start to the season.
Calgary, however, has not fared well against the Caps in recent years, losing three straight in this series since last beating Washington on March 28, 2010 in D.C. Washington also has won three of the last four meetings in Calgary.
The Flames have been outscored by a combined 9-3 margin in their last two trips to the ice. They were handed a 4-2 setback at Phoenix on Tuesday before capping a five-game road trip on Thursday with a 5-1 loss in Dallas.
Karri Ramo yielded all five goals on 34 shots for Calgary, while Lee Stempniak scored the lone goal for the Flames. The score was tied at 1-1 after Stempniak scored at 4:30 of the second period, but Dallas tallied three times in a span of 61 seconds later in the middle stanza to take control of the game for good.
"Well those three quick goals, that definitely took energy out of us and we just couldn't recover," said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley.
Hartley hopes a three-game homestand can get his team headed back in the right direction. The Flames, who are 2-0-1 on home ice this year, also will host Toronto and Detroit before heading back out on the road.
10/26 10:51:44 ET