Jones aims to keep Ovechkin quiet
San Jose has not lost at home in regulation to Washington since the Bill Clinton administration. But are Barry Trotz’s troops positioned to finally put an end to such madness tonight?
Two of the NHL’s premier teams will drop the puck at 10:30 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the Capitals odds of -112 to take care of business on the road. Conversely, the Sharks represent -108 underdogs.
The hosts’ success at SAP Center, of course, is nothing new. Three years ago, Peter DeBoer’s group went 29-7-5 there. San Jose’s on a similar pace in 2016-17, having built their cushion over the second-place Oilers to seven points in the Pacific Division.
On the flip side, the Eastern Conference-leading Caps suddenly look a little more vulnerable. They’ve dropped two of five, in part due to Alex Ovechkin’s protracted slump. The six-time Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner has gone seven consecutive games without scoring a goal.
Don’t expect Ovechkin to necessarily bust out against Martin Jones, either. San Jose’s netminder boasts a 2.28 GAA and .915 save percentage in 53 starts. With Washington’s Braden Holtby gunning for his second straight Vezina, too, we’d be shocked to see a deluge of markers here.
THURSDAY NHL FREE PICK: CAPITALS/SHARKS UNDER 5 GOALS