4 things to know for Caps-Coyotes: Richard Panik returns

J.J. Regan

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Capitals (13-2-3) just keep on winning. After Saturday's win over the Vegas Golden Knights, the Caps have won six straight and have points in 11 straight. Ten of those 11 games were wins. Both streaks will be on the line Monday as Washington hosts the Arizona Coyotes (9-6-2). You can catch all the action on NBC Sports Washington with Caps FaceOff Live kicking things off at 6 p.m. before Caps Pregame Live begins at 6:30 p.m. to bring you up to the 7 p.m. puck drop. Stick with NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Postgame Live, D.C. Sports Live and Caps Overtime Live.

Here are four things to know for Monday's game.

Panik is back

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Richard Panik will be back in the lineup for the first time since Oct. 16. He suffered an upper-body injury in a collision with Jonas Siegenthaler in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs and landed on LTIR. Monday's game is the first game in which he could be activated. He has been back for several practices so it is no surprise to see him back in.

Here are the lines from the morning skate:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Lars Eller - Richard Panik
Brendan Leipsic - Nic Dowd - Garnet Hathaway


Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Radko Gudas
Jonas Siegenthaler - Nick Jensen

Hagelin will miss his second game with an upper-body injury. He remains day-to-day.

Samsonov starts

After a hot start, playing time has been a bit limited for Ilya Samsonov whose last start came on Nov. 3. Braden Holtby has started eight of Washington's last 10 games. With a busy stretch coming up for Washington, it makes sense to get Samsonov a game now.

This means Samsonov will likely play twice this week with a back-to-back coming up Friday and Saturday.

Strength vs. strength

The Caps boast the top offense in the league coming into Monday's game scoring 4.06 goals per game. The next closest team to them is Nashville at 3.82. Arizona enters this game tied for 2nd in the NHL in defense allowing just 2.41 goals per game.

A slow start for Arizona's stars

Defense may be the strength of the Coyotes, but they still have offensive weapons such as Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel. Both players, however, are off to slow starts.

Keller has two goals and eight assists. Kessel, meanwhile, was expected to light things up after being reunited with his former assistant coach in Pittsburgh Rick Tocchet. So far he has only three goals and seven assists and two of his three goals came in one game.

Neither Keller nor Kessel have any points in the Coyotes' last two games.

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4 things to know for Caps-Coyotes: Richard Panik returns originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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