Capitals/Predators preview: Joel Ward returns to Nashville
By all accounts, Washington Capitals winger Joel Ward should feel right at home when his new team faces off against his old team at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night.
Ward, who has four goals for the Caps so far in his first season in Washington, played 230 games for the Predators before migrating to D.C.
“It should be fun. I get a chance to see some familiar faces," Ward said in The Tennessean.
Ward's coming out party came during the 2011 playoffs, when he tallied 13 points in 12 games, helping the Predators to their first playoff series victory in franchise history.
He then cashed in on that time in the spotlight, inking a four-year contract with the Capitals during the offseason.
Ward and the Capitals are seeking to get off a recent slide during which they've lost three of their last four, including a 3-2 shootout loss to New Jersey last Saturday in which they coughed up an early 2-0 lead.
"We stopped picking up our assignments, and they just capitalized on a couple chances we did give them,” right wing Troy Brouwer said after the game, during which Washington went more than 20 minutes without a shot on goal.
Since starting 7-0, the Caps have stumbled to a 3-4-1 record in their last eight outings. And since averaging more than four goals per game since that season-opening winning streak, Washington has averaged just three goals per game since.
What more, as Katie Carrera reports in the Washington Post, Washington is still without an ailing Mike Green.
"He fits so well into Coach Bruce Boudreau’s system and his presence in every on-ice situation is missed," Carrera says.
The 8-5-3 Predators come into Tuesday's game having lost two of their last three. David Legwand and Craig Smith have led the way for Nashville with 14 points each, while goaltender Pekka Rinne has already recorded three shutouts.
Faceoff from Nashville is set for 8 p.m.