Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs: Predictions, Odds and How to Watch

How to Watch

Where: Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON, Canada.

When: Saturday, January 23rd, 7:30 PM EST.

How (TV/Radio): NBCSN, TVAS, Sportsnet, Sportsnet 360 | FAN590

Washington Capitals (Away)

Head Coach: Todd Reirden {All-Time 27-16-5 WSH}

As of the time of this writing, the Washington Capitals are riding a five game losing streak. They are 3-5-2 in their last ten games but still find themselves only one point back of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern conference standings with 59 points.

The defending Cup champs head into this game with essentially a full, completely healthy roster. This is their last game before the all-star break and with two important points on the line, it’s safe to say the Capitals will come out gun ablazing as they have plenty of time off to rest following this game.

Washington has played well on the road this season, building an away record of 14-8-2. Their numbers against conference rivals also look like a bright light amidst this losing streak – they have a 19-6-3 record against fellow Eastern conference teams, of which the Maple Leafs are one.

The Capitals are coming off of one of their more devastating defeats of the season as the Chicago Blackhawks downed them 8-5. Backup goalie Pheonix Copley is expected to get the start against the Maple Leafs.

Toronto Maple Leafs (Home)

Head Coach: Mike Babcock {All-Time 674-397-19-154 TOR, DET, ANA}

The Toronto Maple Leafs head into this game following a 4-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes – their seventh loss in their last ten games (3-7-0). The recent lacklustre play of the Leafs saw their home record drop to 1-6-0 in their last seven and 13-11-1 overall at the Scotiabank Arena.

The good news here is that, statistically, this game favours Toronto – both offensively and defensively. The Leafs are tied for fourth in the league in goals scored, averaging 3.50 per game. They average more shots per game than Washington (31.3 compared to 29.5) and they also edge out the Caps power play numbers as well.

The Leafs biggest offensive advantage, however, is in the faceoff circle. Toronto has a 52.5 per cent success rate when taking faceoffs – that’s good enough for second in the league. Washington has struggled with faceoffs all season, ranking 31st in the league – dead last.

Defensively, Toronto also has the upper hand. They rank eighth in the league in goals allowed (Washington ranks 22nd), and 11th in the league in killing penalties (Washington ranks 23rd). Their biggest defensive advantage is their discipline. Under the tutelage of cool-headed coach Mike Babcock, the Leafs have managed to stay out of the penalty box. They average only 6.6 penalty minutes per game – making them first in the league. Washington is 24th in the league averaging a little under ten penalty minutes per game.

These two teams last met back on October 13th, 2018 – a game that saw the Maple Leafs come out victorious with a score of 4-2.

What’s At Stake?

Both teams seem well on their way into the playoffs despite current losing streaks, but a President’s Trophy is still within reach of both teams and every two points help. The Tampa Bay Lightning have pulled away for first in the league but with still almost half the season to play, a first place finish for either the Capitals or the Leafs is still very possible.

Washington and Toronto would also both love to end their losing streaks before the all-star break – making it easier to enjoy the downtime with such a weight lifted and able to carry the momentum moving forward.

Questions to answer

Will Jake Gardiner find his way back into the lineup for game time after suffering from back spasms?

Will home and away trends continue; will Washington’s strong road record overtake Toronto’s weaker home play?

Will Alex Ovechkin go into overdrive for his last game before the all-star break, which he has declined to play?

Washington Capitals Injury Report

D Christian Djoos – IR (thigh surgery)

Toronto Maple Leafs Injury Report

D Jake Gardiner – day-to-day (back spasms)

F Andreas Johnsson – day-to-day (concussion)

F Tyler Ennis – IR (fractured ankle)

F Nathan Horton – IR (back)

Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs Predictions and Odds

The Toronto Maple Leafs (-155) are the favourite over the Washington Capitals (+125).