The checking centre has been facing more and more of the opposition’s top scorers; on the road it’s tough for the visiting team to get the matchups they want, but it stands to reason that coach Travis Green will look to get either the line centred by Beagle or the one featuring Brandon Sutter out against Ovechkin. On form, Beagle, who is also making his return to face his former long-time team, has been doing a better job of shot suppression than Sutter.
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Three games in four nights is not easy for any team, but when the first game of the run was two time zones away, that’s doing no favours to anyone. If the Canucks look tired Tuesday in Washington, D.C., that will be understandable, given they were in Denver two days before and played in Philadelphia just 24 hours before
Nic Dowd played 40 games last season for the Canucks, scoring three goals. He’s now played 40 times for the Caps mostly in a fourth-line role, but has managed five goals and nine assists. With Lars Eller out injured, he’s centring the Caps’ third line.