A visit to Edmonton might solve that problem.
The Oilers’ struggles to stop their visitors to Rexall Place hit a low point in their most recent game, and the Capitals will look to take advantage Saturday on their final stop before heading home.
Washington (21-8-6) averages 3.51 goals per game, easily the most in the NHL, and simply scoring three goals has generally meant the difference between a win and a loss for coach Bruce Boudreau’s team.
Heading into Friday’s game at Vancouver, the Capitals were 19-2-4 if they scored at least three times and 2-5-2 if they failed to score more than twice - with one of those wins coming 3-2 in a shootout.
Alexander Semin(notes) scored twice but was denied by Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo(notes) on a penalty shot late in the third period as Washington dropped to 1-2-0 on its road trip with a 3-2 loss.
The Capitals, who came in with the No. 1 power play in the league at 23.6 percent, went 0 for 4 and didn’t register a shot three times with the man advantage.
“Our power play was horrible,” Boudreau said. “We didn’t generate anything.”
Ovechkin didn’t score a goal for the fourth time in five games Friday, but he may be able to get back in the scoring column Saturday. The Oilers (15-15-4) allow 3.35 goals per game at home - second-worst in the league - and hit a new low at Rexall Place on Thursday.
Robert Nilsson(notes) and Lubomir Visnovsky(notes) scored early in the first period to give Edmonton a two-goal cushion against Nashville, but the Predators scored three times before the end of the first 20 minutes en route to a 6-3 win.
The Oilers are 1-4-1 in their last six home games and have allowed at least four goals in 10 of their 17 games in their own building.
“Losing gracefully has been the standard here for a while,” assistant captain Sheldon Souray(notes) said. “When we go on the road and put hard work and have a team first attitude, it raises our standards. Good teams have that level consistently.
“We’re a team that takes two steps forward and two steps back, and that gets you nothing. We don’t want that to be acceptable.”
Souray has three goals and four assists during the Oilers’ last six home games, but leading scorer Dustin Penner(notes) (18 goals, 19 assists) has been held to two goals and four assists in his last eight games in Alberta.
Penner has two goals in three career games against the Capitals, while Ovechkin and Semin have one apiece in their past three games versus the Oilers.
Both were blanked in their only career trip to Edmonton, a 4-0 loss on Oct. 28, 2006.
Washington’s Jose Theodore(notes) will likely be in goal for a fifth straight game on Saturday. Semyon Varlamov(notes), who’s 12-1-2 with a 2.21 goals-against average, hasn’t played since Dec. 7 due to a groin strain, and he likely won’t until the Capitals return home.
Theodore is 5-10-0 with a 3.72 GAA in his career against Edmonton.