Pre-game primer: Caps end trip in Vancouver

Pre-game primer: Caps end trip in Vancouver
October 28, 2013, 8:45 am
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News and notes as the Capitals [5-6-0] try to close out their four-game Canadian road trip with a win over the Canucks [8-4-1] in Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. You can catch the game on CSN at 10 p.m.:

No love in B.C.: Are you ready for this? The last time the Capitals won a game in Vancouver, Olie Kolzig was the winning goaltender and Adam Oates scored the game-winner in overtime. It was Feb. 14, 2001 and the Caps pulled out a 4-3 win on Valentine’s Day night.

Rough starts: The Capitals have been outscored 12-6 in first periods this season and were trailing 3-1 before the seats were warm in Calgary Saturday night in a 5-2 loss to the Flames.

Holtby returns: Caps goaltender Braden Holtby [4-5-0] is expected to return between the pipes tonight after getting pulled in Calgary. Holtby allowed three goals on 14 shots, increasing his GAA to 3.07 and lowering his save percentage to .913. If he starts, it will be Holtby’s 11th in 12 games.

Another homecoming: In each of their previous two stops on their road trip [Edmonton and Calgary] the Caps caught teams coming off long road trips. It will be no different tonight. The Canucks are coming off a stretch in which they played seven games in 11 nights. They went 5-1-1 on that trip, with their last three wins coming in extra time. Ryan Kesler scoring a power-play goal with 15 seconds remaining in overtime to beat St. Louis Friday night. The goal was Kesler’s seventh of the season and his seventh point in four games.

Homecoming, Part Deux: Tonight promises to be a special night for three Capitals hailing from British Columbia – right wing Troy Brouwer [Vancouver], left wing Aaron Volpatti [Revelstoke] and defenseman Karl Alzner [Burnaby].

Special teams: The Caps are third in the NHL on the power play [26.8] and second on the penalty kill [89.2] The Canucks rank 25th on the power play [11.8] and eighth on the kill [84.1].

O Canada:  The Caps are 2-1-0 on their Canadian road trip, but it’s fair to say they were outplayed in a shootout win in Winnipeg and a regulation loss in Calgary.

Until we meet again: This is the first meeting of the season between the Caps and Canucks. They won’t see each other again until March 14 at VerizonCenter.

Look ahead: The Capitals are expected to remain in Vancouver overnight and make Tuesday a travel day and complete day off. They are scheduled to practice at Kettler on Wednesday and Thursday before traveling to Philadelphia to face the Flyers on Friday night. Their next home game is Saturday night against the Florida Panthers.