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Capitals face tough task on road vs. Canucks

Mar 14, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie (77) plays the puck during the third period against the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals look to build some momentum when they visit the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

With a 2-1 win over the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night, the Capitals improved to 1-2-0 on a five-game road trip as they battle for an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

T.J. Oshie scored and Connor McMichael supplied the game-winner in the third period when he intercepted a drop pass at the offensive blue line and scored on a breakaway.

Charlie Lindgren made 23 saves for Washington, which had lost the first two games of the road trip by a combined 10-2 score and was playing the second game of a back-to-back set.

“That was a huge win for us,” Oshie said. “It’s pretty crazy to think about it. The last two games didn’t go how we wanted to at all, and this was a huge response for us. We’ll just focus on one game at a time.”

Oshie, who recently returned from an upper-body injury, gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead in the second period when a clearing attempt by Seattle goalie Joey Daccord deflected off his leg and into the net.

“I don’t feel like the puck has been finding me too much these last couple games,” Oshie said. “It’s nice that (Daccord) was able to find my leg there and put it in the back of the net for me. It was a fortunate bounce, but I think the Caps could use a couple fortunate bounces right now.”

Oshie, 37, will celebrate a milestone in Vancouver as he plays his 1,000th NHL game. One of the few remaining Capitals from the 2018 Stanley Cup winners, Oshie has 301 goals and 388 assists in his career.

Vancouver continues its season-high, nine-game homestand and looks to bounce back from a rare home loss.

The Canucks, leaders in the Pacific Division, fell 4-3 in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. Vancouver surrendered a 3-0 second-period lead and saw a four-game winning streak end.

J.T. Miller and Nikita Zadorov each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks. Casey DeSmith made 30 saves in his first start since No. 1 goalie Thatcher Demko was injured.

“Good start and then we let a tired team get back into it and eventually take over the game,” Miller said. “We just kind of hope it works out when we have leads instead of taking control of the game. We didn’t win our battles, we didn’t execute our passes, we’re dumping it in for no reason, no forecheck.”

Ilya Mikheyev also scored for the Canucks to end a 34-game goal drought that dated back to mid-December.

“Just more confidence for me,” Mikheyev said. “Too much thinking sometimes. Just keep believing, keep working. I know it’s coming.”

Demko is week-to-week after sustaining a lower-body injury during a victory against the Winnipeg Jets on March 9.

Miller scored with 4.8 seconds left in overtime to give Vancouver a 3-2 victory in Washington on Feb. 11. Demko made 31 saves. The Capitals are 11-2-2 in the teams’ past 15 meetings.

–Field Level Media

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