The Washington Capitals have been having a rough go at it lately. With a 4-5-0 record under Dale Hunter, the Caps will return home after a 1-1-0 road trip Tuesday against one of the teams that started the Cap's tailspin last month: the Nashville Predators.
The Predators defeated the Caps 3-1 November 15 with all four goals coming within the last five minutes. Troy Brouwer gave Washington a 1-0 lead, but Nashville scored three unanswered goals for the victory. It was the first loss of a three-game road trip that saw the Caps outscored 14-3 and ultimately cost Bruce Boudreau his job as head coach.
Washington has scored just one goal in three straight games and five times under Hunter. According to The Washington Examiner's Brian McNally, Nashville has played in 10 straight one-goal games, winning seven of them. The Predators' goaltender, Pekka Rinne, was named the NHL's "Second Star of the Week." Looking for offense, Hunter put Marcus Johansson on the top line with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. Troy Brouwer moved to the second line with Jeff Halpern and Alexander Semin.
Mike Knuble will play his 1,000th career game Tuesday and will be honored before the game.