The NHL is set up with a solid night of action on Tuesday night. Ten games are up on the board throughout the night on December 3. To close out the night of action, the Washington Capitals and the San Jose Sharks will meet up. These two teams have had solid starts to the season and will look to keep it going. This game will drop the puck around 10:30 PM Eastern time.
The Capitals have started out this season with a record of 19-4-5, which has them sitting in first place of the Metropolitan Division. Washington has a solid seven point lead on the second place Islanders. The Capitals have won three games in a row coming into this matchup and will look to continue to create distance with another win against the Sharks.
San Jose has earned a record of 15-12-1 to open up the new season. The Sharks are sitting in third place of the Pacific Division, but are only one point ahead of the trailing Vancouver Canucks, Vegas Golden Knights and the Calgary Flames. San Jose has won back to back games and five of their last six. The Sharks will look to add onto that streak as they try to pull away from the rest of a very close division.
The Sharks had a rough start to the season, but have picked up their play a lot over the last stretch. San Jose has won eleven of their last thirteen games, but will have a nice challenge when the Capitals come to visit. Washington has jumped out to an early lead in their division as they try to their four game winning streak of the Metropolitan Division alive.
The Capitals and the Sharks met up twice last season. The first game was hosted by Washington and it was a memorable one. Alexander Ovechkin scored three goals and added an assist to put the Capitals up 6-4 early in the third. Tomas Hertl added a goal and an assist to help San Jose tie it up before he scored the game winner in overtime. Hertl finished with a hat trick and an assist as San Jose won 7-6.
The second game shifted to San Jose on February 14. This time on Valentine’s Day, Washington was able to get some revenge. Kevin Labanc opened up the scoring for the Sharks, but they could not get another one. The Capitals scored five unanswered goals, including two goals and an assist by T.J. Oshie. Braden Holtby stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced as Washington skated away with a 5-1 win.
The Sharks have lost three of the last four games they have played against Washington coming into this one. San Jose has been red hot though coming into this one and they will look to use that to their advantage. The Capitals have been good all season, but this could be a tough one for them as they have to travel across the country and play late at night to try and pull off the win.
The Capitals special teams have been getting it done early in this season. Washington has scored 22 power play goals on their 87 opportunities, which is a 25.3 percent success rate. The Capitals have only allowed opposing teams to score on 17 of their 100 chances throughout this season, which is an 83 percent kill rate.
San Jose’s power play has been up and down throughout this season. The Sharks have scored 15 power play goals on the 87 chances they have had throughout this season. This is a 17.2 percent power play success rate. San Jose’s penalty kill has been unreal, only allowed 9 goals on 100 chances for a 91 percent kill rate so far.
Both of these teams have caused a lot of penalties so far this season. Both teams have 100 penalties against them, compared to the league average of 85. These teams have had good penalty kills, but the Sharks have been slightly better. Their power play has not been as efficient though, which makes me think we may not see a power play goal in this game. If one of these teams can break through though, it could be the difference maker.
Braden Holtby is expected to get the nod in the crease for Tuesday night. Holtby has started out this season with a record of 13-2-4. He has posted a save percentage of .909 and a 2.86 GAA through those games. Holtby’s last start was against the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced to help the Capitals earn the win.
I believe that Martin Jones will get the start for the Sharks in this matchup. Jones has earned a record of 12-8-1 through his games played this season. Jones has put up a .896 save percentage and a GAA of 3.03 throughout those games. His last start came against the Arizona Coyotes, where he turned away 21 of 23 shots against to hep San Jose skate away with the win.
Holtby’s stats have been slightly better throughout this season, but Martin Jones has picked up his play as of late. Jones has posted four straight games with a save percentage above .900. The Sharks defense has been giving him some more help, limiting shots against him. If San Jose’s defense can slow down Washington’s offense, it could be enough to help them earn the win.
Washington has won three of their last four against the Sharks, but I believe the Capitals will lose this one in San Jose. The Sharks are looking good coming into this one. San Jose’s special teams matches up well with Washington and Martin Jones has looked much improved over his last few starts. If the Sharks can keep it up, I believe they will knock off the Capitals at home.
BetOnline has the Capitals listed as a -119 against the money line in this matchup. This implies that Washington will win this game around 54.3 percent of the time. This is a far road trip for the Capitals, and I believe with how San Jose has been playing, it should be closer to even. The Sharks have been looking good as of late and this line gives them a lot of value.