Preview: Coyotes at Capitals
Washington goes for fourth-straight win; Shane Doan likely out again for Arizona
by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent
COYOTES (27-38-9) at CAPITALS (48-17-8)
7 p.m. ET; FS-A, CSN-DC+, NHL.TV
Coyotes team scope
The Arizona Coyotes are 1-3-1 in their past five games since a three-game winning streak and play the fourth game of a five-game road trip against the Washington Capitals. "They've been considered one of the elite Stanley Cup contenders," coach Dave Tippett said. "Real good challenge for our young players, real good challenge to make sure our veterans play well and try to stabilize our group. We'll see what we get." Goaltender Mike Smith is expected to start. Smith is 1-3-1 in his past five games with 12 goals allowed and a .927 save percentage. Captain Shane Doan is expected to miss his fifth consecutive game with a lower-body injury.
Capitals team scope
The Capitals lead the Pittsburgh Penguins by one point and the Columbus Blue Jackets by three points in the Metropolitan Division, Eastern Conference and NHL with 104 points entering play Saturday. Washington is on a three-game winning streak following a 2-1 shootout win against the Blue Jackets on Thursday which ended a 1-4-1 stretch in its previous six games. "I think looking at all nine of these (remaining) games, until we can secure our spot that we would like, they're all must-wins," coach Barry Trotz said. "I can't tell you one that would not be. These ones when you're playing a team you feel that is young and maybe not as experienced, you worry about the readiness but I think we recognize the situation and it'll be on the players. We have no room to let anybody steal points at our arena at any time right now." Braden Holtby, who is 4-0-1 with 10 goals allowed in his past five games, will start in goal. Captain Alex Ovechkin is two goals (554) from tying Johnny Bucyk for 26th place on the NHL's goal scoring list.
Coyotes projected lineup
Brendan Perlini -- Jordan Martinook -- Tobias Rieder
Max Domi -- Christian Dvorak -- Radim Vrbata
Jamie McGinn -- Peter Holland -- Anthony Duclair
Lawson Crouse -- Josh Jooris -- Jamie McGinn
Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Luke Schenn
Alex Goligoski -- Connor Murphy
Jakob Chychrun -- Zbynek Michalek
Scratched: Anthony DeAngelo, Teemu Pulkkinen, Christian Fischer
Injured: Brad Richardson (broken leg), Kevin Connauton (upper body), Shane Doan (lower body), Alexander Burmistrov (concussion)
Capitals projected lineup
Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams
Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson
Karl Alzner -- John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik -- Kevin Shattenkirk
Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Nate Schmidt, Paul Carey
Washington recalled forward Paul Carey from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League on Friday.
Backstrom has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in his past six games. … Oshie has six points (four goals, two assists) in his past three games. … Ovechkin has six points (two goals, four assists) in six games. … Ekman-Larsson has three points (two goals, one assist) in his past three games.