The NHL-leading Washington Capitals (44-14-7) open a three-game road trip with a visit to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday (10:30 PM ET on CSN). Washington, which ranks first overall in team defense (2.03 goals allowed per game) and third in team offense (3.27 goals scored per game), have been easily the best team in hockey through the first 65 games of 2016-17. Led by center Nicklas Backstrom (21 goals, 46 assists) and right winger Alex Ovechkin (27 goals, 28 assists), the Capitals will look to continue their offensive dominance and capture two points against the Sharks on the road.
The San Jose Sharks (39-19-7) will play in the third of a season-high eight-game homestand on Thursday after coming off of a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. The NHL’s top offensive defenseman, Brent Burns (27 goals, 40 assists), will be relied upon to pace the Sharks’ offense in what will surely be a high-scoring affair. Goaltender Martin Jones (2.28 goals against, .915 save percentage) will be back in net after getting the night off on Monday and will face a hungry Capitals team looking to fortify their spot atop the league.
This could very well be a preview of the Stanley Cup Finals later on in June. Both teams have what it takes in all aspects of the game. I will give the advantage to the home team here tonight as the Sharks play very well against the top teams in the league.
Capitals are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Pacific.
Capitals are 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Capitals are 13-3 in their last 16 vs. Western Conference.
Capitals are 11-3 in their last 14 vs. a team with a winning record.
Capitals are 16-5 in their last 21 games playing on 2 days rest.
Capitals are 37-15 in their last 52 Thursday games.
Capitals are 57-24 in their last 81 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Capitals are 41-18 in their last 59 overall.
Capitals are 47-21 in their last 68 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Sharks are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. Metropolitan.
Sharks are 4-1 in their last 5 overall.
Sharks are 21-8 in their last 29 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Sharks are 12-5 in their last 17 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Sharks are 44-21 in their last 65 games playing on 2 days rest.
Sharks are 2-5 in their last 7 vs. Eastern Conference.
Under is 4-0-1 in Capitals last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
Over is 6-1-1 in Capitals last 8 vs. Western Conference.
Under is 4-1-2 in Capitals last 7 road games.
Under is 4-1-1 in Capitals last 6 vs. Pacific.
Over is 14-4-8 in Capitals last 26 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Over is 3-1-2 in Capitals last 6 games playing on 2 days rest.
Under is 6-2-1 in Capitals last 9 overall.
Over is 3-1-1 in Capitals last 5 Thursday games.
Under is 4-0-1 in Sharks last 5 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Under is 4-0 in Sharks last 4 games following a win.
Under is 20-4-2 in Sharks last 26 games playing on 2 days rest.
Under is 14-3-4 in Sharks last 21 vs. Metropolitan.
Under is 21-6-7 in Sharks last 34 home games.
Under is 3-1-1 in Sharks last 5 Thursday games.
Under is 3-1-1 in Sharks last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
Under is 5-2 in Sharks last 7 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Under is 36-16-19 in Sharks last 71 overall.
Under is 25-12-16 in Sharks last 53 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
HEAD TO HEAD
Over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in San Jose.
Capitals are 2-10 in the last 12 meetings in San Jose.
Capitals are 4-23-1 in the last 28 meetings.
Road team is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.
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