Bruins Brief: Can B's Exorcise D.C. Demons Against Capitals?

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Here's your Bruins-Capitals preview as the B's head to D.C. to complete a back-to-back on Thursday night. The Caps remain a tough matchup for the Bruins, but Boston enters the game playing its best hockey of the season.

There's no sugar-coating the Capitals' success against the Bruins in recent years. In order to find the last time the B's beat the Caps in the regular season, you need to go back to the 2013-14 season. The Bruins are on an 11-game losing streak against them, and only two of those losses came in overtime.

Fortunately, the B's are mostly healthy and playing excellent hockey right now. They're 14-3-1 in their last 18 games going back to Nov. 16. Furthermore, they've trailed for exactly zero seconds over the course of their current five-game winning streak. The Caps, meanwhile, are on a three-game losing streak. But despite that, they're still 22-13-3 and sit in second place in the competitive Metropolitan division.

Bruins-Capitals: By The Numbers

-- The Bruins rule the NHL in December, boasting a 9-2-1 record and a league-high 19 points with two games to go. The Capitals are right behind them, however, with an 8-2-2 record and 18 points in the same span.

-- Washington rolls out Braden Holtby once again to face the Bruins on Thursday. The Caps are 13-2 in Holtby's 15 career appearances against the B's. The netminder has a 1.90 goals against average and .942 save percentage in those games.

-- Despite that, Holtby has an unspectacular 2.74 GAA and .915 save percentage in nine December starts. So in light of his recent performance, he also has a chance to turn things around against a team he historically dominates.

-- Alex Ovechkin remains as dangerous as ever at age 32. He's second in the NHL with 23 goals and leads the Caps with 12 points in December. He also leads the league with 169 shots on goal. In that case, Anton Khudobin needs to be ready for Ovy to pepper him all night.

Bruins-Capitals pits Boston against Alex Ovechkin once again. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Bruins-Capitals: Things To Know

-- The only lineup change is Khudobin in goal. Expect the same forward groups as Wednesday against the Senators to roll out. And you should expect another strong performance from the Riley Nash line.

-- As a result, David Krejci remains on injured reserve despite traveling with the team. Defenseman Adam McQuaid (broken leg) is also out again, but appears close to returning.

-- By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff.