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Sharks vs. Capitals preview: Five-game road trip begins in D.C.

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San Jose will play 15 of its next 19 games away from SAP Center.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Having yet to allow a goal this season, the Sharks' defense and goaltending will face its toughest test yet this afternoon in Washington where they'll draw the NHL's top goal-scorer, Alex Ovechkin. In their first season under longtime Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz, the Capitals have thus far fallen to Montreal in a shootout prior to a convincing 4-0 win over the Bruins on Saturday. They'll be looking to build on that victory today with rookie Andre Burakovsky, the team's 2013 first-rounder and current second-line center, particularly hoping to sustain the success he's been enjoying with three points in his first two NHL games.

For the Sharks, the John Scott Era begins in earnest as a hand injury to Mike Brown will keep him out of the lineup for much of this five-game road trip. That opens the door for Scott, assuming he can hunch over far enough to fit through it. Fourth line issues aside, the Sharks will need to figure out a way to ensure their dismal power play performance against the Jets never repeats itself as they'll need their top six forwards to carry much of the offense at both even-strength and the man-advantage to avoid a disappointing early trip that features five quality opponents. Antti Niemi will get the start in goal as Todd McLellan continues to alternate between his netminders, both of whom remain perfect.

San Jose Sharks

@

Washington Capitals
2-0-0, 4 points
1-0-1, 3 points
1st in Pacific
5th in Metropolitan


4PM PST | Verizon Center | Washington, D.C.
TV: CSNCA-HD | Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
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Projected Sharks Lineup

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Matt Nieto
Tye McGinn - Chris Tierney - Tommy Wingels
John Scott - Andrew Desjardins - Adam Burish

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller - Brent Burns
Scott Hannan - Jason Demers

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Projected Capitals Lineup

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Eric Fehr
Marcus Johansson - Andre Burakovsky - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Joel Ward
Liam O'Brien - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Michael Latta

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - John Carlson
Nate Schmidt - Mike Green

Braden Holtby
Justin Peters