The Edmonton Oilers may have started the season 5-1, but they’ll be the underdog Wednesday night when they host the Washington Capitals.
The Caps are 3-1-1 on the year and are coming off a 56-win season.
“You want test yourself against the best,” said head coach Todd McLellan. “I consider them one of the top five or six teams in the league.”
The Oilers are 5-1 for the first time since the fall of 1985 but continue to focus on improving. “I think we keep getting better. The first few games we were scoring a lot but we weren’t playing well defensively,” says centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “The last couple of games we’ve really had to fight for the wins. Our defensive play has been a lot better lately.”
A big key for the Oilers will be stopping Caps winger Alexander Ovechkin, who has three straight 50-goal seasons to his credit.
“Every time the puck gets on his stick, he seems to be putting it on the net. But he’s not the only weapon on that team. They have a full arsenal,” says goalie Cam Talbot, who has allowed just three goals in his last three starts.
The Oilers expected lineup is:
Lucic – McDavid – Eberle
Pouliot – Nugent-Hopkins – Kassian
Maroon – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
Lander – Letestu – Pitlick
Klefbom – Larsson
Sekera – Russell
Nurse – Gryba
The Oilers and Capitals can be heard on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6pm and the game starting at 7:30pm. (jrw)