Much has changed since the Capitals lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs twice in the span of six days early on this season. Those defeats on Jan. 31 and on Feb. 5 came while Washington was in the midst of its dreadful 2-8-1 start to the season, unable to put together a consistent performance or stick with Coach Adam Oates’s system when faced with adversity.
The Capitals have gone 21-10-1 and charged up the Eastern Conference standings since they saw Toronto more than two months ago. Oates made it clear that Washington will not be the only improved team on the ice at Verizon Center Tuesday night as he sees the Maple Leafs playing with more moxie than they did early in the year.
“They do a lot of things well; they’ve obviously really improved,” Oates said. “They have upgraded a lot, they’ve improved, they’re a different team than when we played them. Obviously playing with a lot of confidence, so we have to be ready. And so are we.”
Faceoff: 7 p.m. Verizon Center | TV: CSN | Radio: 1500 AM
Discuss the game in the comment section below and based on warmup here’s what the lineup should look like:
Goal: Holtby, Neuvirth.
Scratches: Brooks Laich (lower-body/groin), Joel Ward (left knee contusion), Jeff Schultz and Wojtek Wolski.
IR: Tom Poti.