Washington Capitals vs. Dallas Stars Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 7th 2023

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The Washington Capitals will look to rediscover their winning ways on Thursday night when they host the Dallas Stars.

The Capitals concluded a five-game trip with a 4-1 setback to the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday and a 6-0 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. Washington finished the trek with a 2-3-0 record, including a 2-1 loss to the struggling San Jose Sharks on Nov. 27.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was a healthy scratch against Arizona, has just nine points (four goals, five assists) in 19 games this season and has struggled to provide positive play for the Capitals. However, Kuznetsov appears motivated to improve his performance in the eyes of coach Spencer Carbery.

“I’m hoping we see what I saw today in practice, a highly motivated player that was competing at a high level, looked like he was moving his feet, trying to attack,” Carbery said Wednesday. “Hopefully, we will see that tomorrow. I’m looking forward to watching him. I know the player that’s in there, and I’m excited to watch him.”

The Capitals must get more scoring out of the rest of their roster, with the team sitting second-to-last in the NHL in goals scored — an average of 2.27 per game.

Tom Wilson scored Washington’s lone goal vs. Vegas. The rugged forward has four of the Capitals’ last six goals over the last three games.

“It was a long trip,” Wilson said. “There were a couple of times on the trip where we had to pick ourselves up and keep going, and 12 days later, we’re back here. (There were) ups and downs but at times some pretty good hockey, and we beat some good teams. Coming home, we’ve got to keep the momentum going from the positives, get the home wins, and keep building from here.”

Washington will square off against a Dallas team that is at the end of a back-to-back set. The Stars hope to rebound from a 5-4 loss to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday.

“You can’t be giving up five goals on the road. It’s a big ask to score that much, especially against good teams. That’s probably the one where we dropped the ball; we were a little loose around our net,” Dallas coach Peter DeBoer said. “That was a tough game with two good teams.”

Mason Marchment and Evgenii Dadonov scored in a span of 3:36 early in the third period to forge a 3-3 tie.

“We were close in that game. Even down 3-1, we felt like we were right there,” Dadonov said. “We actually do come back and then unfortunately give up another two goals. It was up and down. We had to push it, and when we got those two goals, maybe we relaxed. It was tough.”

Marchment and Thomas Harley each collected a goal and an assist for the Stars, who have not lost three straight games since dropping five in a row in February of last season.

–Field Level Media

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