The Washington Capitals are just one of six teams remaining in the NHL that have yet to play three straight road games. After two home losses last week, there might not be a better time for the Caps to leave Washington behind for six days. Yet, the first game of the trip won't be easy as the Caps head to "Smashville" to take on the Nashville Predators Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena.
Tuesday's meeting will be the only one this season between the Caps and Predators, though the two teams met twice during the preseason with Nashville winning both games. The Caps will have to contend with Pekka Rinne, who hasn't lost in regulation since October 25, but to get to him, they will have to get past what head coach Bruce Boudreau called one of the best defensive pairings in the NHL in Ryan Suter and Shea Weber.
Joel Ward will make his first official return to the place he called home for four seasons. Ward led the Predators with 13 points in 12 playoff games last season before signing with Washington this summer. One player, however, who will not be heading to Nashville is Mike Green, who did not make the trip as he receives treatments for what The Washington Post's Katie Carrera learned is a strained right groin muscle. Green suffered the injury Friday during the first period of the Caps' 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Green had just returned from missing almost three weeks with a right ankle injury.