Trotz hoping for better effort as Caps host Flames

(SportsNetwork.com) - While the Calgary Flames are coming off one of their best offensive performances of the season, the Washington Capitals put forth a defensive effort last time out that left their head coach none too pleased.

The Flames try to stay in the win column and hand the Capitals a fifth straight setback as the two clubs clash on Tuesday night in D.C.

Calgary opened a five-game road trip on Sunday with a 6-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Rookie Josh Jooris scored twice in the Flames' second straight victory, one that moved them to 4-1-2 in their last seven.

Jooris, one of six Calgary skaters to have at least two points, is one player being asked to step up with Mason Raymond, Matt Stajan, Mikael Backlund and Joe Colborne all out of the lineup due to injury.

Markus Granlund, Curtis Glencross, Lance Bouma and Mark Giordano also scored for the Flames, who returned the favor after losing 2-1 in a shootout to the Canadiens last Tuesday in Calgary.

"When things are going well we just have to keep it up," said Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller, who had 18 saves. "Yes, it would have been nice to get a win against them at home, but it's just as good to win on the road."

TJ Brodie had three assists for Calgary and Jiri Hudler and Johnny Gaudreau added a pair of helpers each.

Hiller is 5-0-1 in his past six games and is expected to start tonight. He is 2-1-1 lifetime versus the Capitals with a 3.33 goals against average and .890 save percentage in five meetings.

The Capitals may have the offense to cool off Hiller, but they'll need a better defensive effort than what they gave forth in Sunday's 6-5 loss to Arizona. Washington led 3-1 after the first period, but allowed the Coyotes to score five straight goals to take advantage.

Arizona scored three times in the third period and Washington has been outscored 8-2 in the final frame during its four-game skid.

"Sometimes, I get the feeling we want to play just as hard as we need to. And that is not how I operate. That's not how you win in this league," said Washington coach Barry Trotz.

"We have good people in that room. Good talent. You are going to go through some rough patches. You don't find out a lot when things are going really smooth. But you find out a lot and grow a lot when things aren't going really smooth."

Alex Ovechkin had a goal and three assists for his 14th career four-point game. He also tied Peter Bondra for the franchise record with 825 points.

Tom Wilson had a goal and an assist and Nicklas Backstrom contributed with three assists. Troy Brouwer scored in a third straight game, Joel Ward and John Carlson added goals, and Justin Peters made only 24 saves.

Braden Holtby figures to start in net tonight for Washington. He is 1-1-0 in three meetings with Calgary, posting a 4.71 GAA and .848 save percentage.

Washington did secure a 3-1 road win over Calgary on Oct. 25, getting a pair of goals from Ward and 20 saves by Holtby.

Kari Ramo started in net for the Flames and made 27 saves as Calgary lost to Washington for the fourth time in the last five meetings.

The Flames have won just once in their past eight trips to Washington.