Carlson, Capitals to host the Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning (12-8-2, fifth in the Atlantic Division) vs. Washington Capitals (17-4-5, first in the Metropolitan Division)
Washington; Friday, 5 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: John Carlson and Washington square off against Tampa Bay. Carlson is fifth in the NHL with 36 points, scoring eight goals and totaling 28 assists.
The Capitals are 9-2-1 against Eastern Conference opponents. Washington is fourth in the league averaging 3.5 goals per game, led by Alex Ovechkin with 16.
The Lightning are 10-4-1 in conference play. Tampa Bay averages 11.0 penalty minutes per game, the third-most in the NHL. Mikhail Sergachev leads the team serving 24 total minutes.
The matchup Friday is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.
TOP PERFORMERS: Carlson has recorded 36 total points while scoring eight goals and adding 28 assists for the Capitals. Evgeny Kuznetsov has totaled 12 points over the last 10 games for Washington.
Victor Hedman leads the Lightning with 16 total assists and has recorded 20 points. Nikita Kucherov has five goals and eight assists over the last 10 games for Tampa Bay.
LAST 10 GAMES: Lightning: 6-4-0, averaging 4.1 goals, 7.4 assists, 4.4 penalties and 11.8 penalty minutes while allowing 2.7 goals per game with a .912 save percentage.
Capitals: 6-2-2, averaging 2.9 goals, 4.6 assists, four penalties and 9.6 penalty minutes while giving up 2.6 goals per game with a .922 save percentage.
Capitals Injuries: Nicklas Backstrom: day to day (upper body).
Lightning Injuries: Steven Stamkos: day to day (lower body).