Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Capitals 7 Maple Leafs 1

The Capitals dominated the Toronto Maple Leafs last night in a 7-1 win. The win snaps a two game skid for the Caps and was the second 7-1 defeat at home for the Leafs. The Caps scored first with a Boyd Gordon backhander at 3:19 of the first period. That was quickly followed by a Toronto goal from Alexei Ponikarovsky at 3:50. From there it was all Caps. After goals from Matt Pettinger, Alex Ovechkin, and Jeff Schultz, Toronto pulled starting goalie Vesa Toskala for Andrew Raycroft at 13:56 of the first. In the second Matt Bradley scored shorthanded and Ovechkin on the power play. Brian Sutherby playing in his second game this season finished the scoring with a third period goal. The Caps record improves to 5-6-0 and they head to New York to play the Rangers on Thursday.

Of Note:
  • Jeff Schultz goal was the first in his NHL career. It only took him all of 44 games to get it. Congrats to Jeff.
  • Matt Bradley scored his first career shorthanded goal. He blasted a slap shot from the top of the left wing circle past Toronto goalie Andrew Raycroft.
  • Alex Ovechkin is on a streak of 4 consecutive multiple point games. In the 4 games he has 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points.
  • In addition to Schultz, Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon, Matt Pettinger, and Brian Sutherby all scored their first goals of the season last night.
  • Six Capitals recorded multiple point nights; Michal Nylander (3A), Bradley (1G, 2A), Ovechkin (2G), Gordon (1G, 1A), Pettinger (1G, 1A), and Viktor Kozlov (2A)
  • The power play scored 2 times on 5 chances and the penalty kill did not allow a goal in 5 attempts.
  • Olie Kolzig had a strong outing with 32 saves on 33 shots including a sprawling glove save 1-on-1 against former Cap Bates Battaglia.
  • The Caps were out shot by Toronto 33-30 and won only 24 of 55 face-offs.
  • For the season the overall goal differential for the Capitals is +1. Last season after 11 games it -3. A modest improvement.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ovechkin Earns 3rd Star


The NHL has named Alex Ovechkin the Third Star for the week ending 10/28/07. Read about it Here.

Bondra Retires

According to CBSSports.com, Peter Bondra announced his retirement today and will be taking over as General Manager of the Slovak National Hockey Team. Bondra was, without a doubt, one of the best Capitals of all-time. He still holds the Capitals all-time records for goals, points, shot on goal, power play goals, shorthanded goals, and game winning goals. He is also 2nd in games played, 5th in +/- rating, 6th in assists, 5th in power play assists, 11th in penalty minutes, and 2nd in game tying goals.

Bondra was drafted by the Capitals in the 8th round of the 1990 entry draft. He played 13 season with the Capitals before being traded to Ottawa in 2004. He represented the Capitals at 5 All-Star games, twice scored 52 goals in a season, and once scored 5 goals in one game. Hopefully, we will soon see Bondra's #12 lifted to the rafters of Verizon Center because he truly deserves the honor.

Bondra's Capitals Statistics: Games 961, Goals 472, Assists 353, Points 825, +/- Rating +74, Shots on Goal 3,290, Penalty Minutes 679, Power Play Goals 137, Power Play Assists 120, Shorthanded Goals 32, Game Winning Goals 73, Game Tying Goals 10

Game #11 Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs

Where: Air Canada Center Center, Toronto, Ontario

When: October 29, 2007, 7:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 6-9-1-0
Caps Game 11 Record: 9-18-5-0
All-Time vs. TOR: 49-45-10-2
Last Season vs. TOR: 2-2-0
Last Meeting: 3/16/07, WAS 5 TOR 1

This Year:
WAS Record: 4-5-0
Standings Points: 8
Division Rank: Tied 3rd
Conference Rank: Tied 11th
Last Game: 10/27/2007, WAS 3 STL 4
Streak: Loss 2

TOR Record: 5-4-3
Standings Points: 13
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 5th
Last Game: 10/27/2007, TOR 4 NYR 1
Streak: Win 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV,
Forward Line 2: 43 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER,
21 LAICH
Forward Line 3: 18 PETTINGER, 39 STECKEL, 15 GORDON
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 16 SUTHERBY, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 23 JURCINA
Defense Pair 2: 2 POTHIER, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 3: 52 GREEN, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Toronto
Forward Line 1: 23 PONIKAROVSKY, 13 SUDIN, 55 BLAKE
Forward Line 2: 41 TLUSTY, 14 STAJAN, 10 STEEN
Forward Line 3: 18 KILGER, 80 ANTROPOV, 22 DEVEREAU
Forward Line 4: 33 BATTAGLIA, 21 POHL, 39 GAMACHE
Defense Pair 1: 15 KABERLE, 31 KUBINA
Defense Pair 2: 25 GILL, 56 WOZNIEWSKI
Defense Pair 3: 7 WHITE, 36 STRALMAN
Goalie: 1 RAYCROFT
Back-up Goalie: 35 TOSKALA

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 44 EMINGER (ankle) IR, 17 CLARK (face), 28 SEMIN (ankle), 3 POTI (groin)
Toronto – 24 MCCABE (groin) DTD, 8 COLAIACOVO (knee) IR, 16 TUCKER (knee) IR, 42 WELLWOOD (sports hernia) IR, 9 BELL (suspended)

Caps Milestones:
Alexander Semin needs 4 Points to reach 100 for his career
Chris Clark needs 3 Points to reach 100 with the Capitals
Matt Pettinger needs 7 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:

The Capitals have lost two one-goal games in a row. They will try to pull it together tonight against the Maple Leafs. The Caps have let in early goals in both of the losses and have had to play come from behind hockey. Each game also featured the Caps scoring a goal with the netminder pulled. Olie Kolzig will start in goal for the Caps. The special teams will again be a big part of this game. The power plays are pretty even with Toronto at 13% and ranked 24th while the Caps are at 14% and ranked 22nd. The penalty kill is a bit misleading with Toronto ranked 17th at 80.0% and the Caps ranked 23rd at 78.8% but Toronto has had to kill 75 penalties to Washington’s 52. This may be a high flying affair with a lot of goals so look for the Caps to try and get on the board first. Hopefully they took notes on that so called football game yesterday, get the lead early and score often and don’t give your opponent any hope.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 6 TOR 4.

Official Preview

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Capitals 3 Blues 4

The Capitals fought hard but could not pull ahead of the Blues. It seems like the boys just haven't figured how to really beat teams yet. The Blues struck first with a breakaway goal just 45 seconds into the game. The overall play was even and both teams failed to covert on 5 on 3 advantages. The Caps really need to work on not taking penalties at critical times. Several times they seemed to have the momentum and a penalty would kill it. For the second consecutive night they scored a goal with the goaltender pulled but couldn't get the equalizer. Fresh off signing a new contract Alexander Semin re injured his ankle in the first period and did not play the rest off the game. The bright spot was the Caps never gave up on the game. They fought until the bitter end. They get another shot at a win on Monday in Toronto.

Of Note:
  • Mike Green scored 2 goals for his first multi goal game of his career. He now has 6 points on the season (3G, 3A).
  • For the third consecutive game Alex Ovechkin recored a multi point game with 2 assists. He has 61 career multi point games in 173 games. The 2 points puts him in a tie with Bob Sirois for 29th place on the Caps All-Time points list.
  • The Caps were 1 for 7 on the power play but failed to score on two 5 on 3 advantages. The penalty killers did well to kill off all 7 St. Louis power plays.
  • Once again the Caps won the face-off battle, winning 29 of 54 draws. David Steckel led the way winning 7 of 9.
  • The Caps also out shot the Blues 26 to 18. Viktor Kozlov led the Caps with 6 shots on goal.
  • In one goal games this season the Caps are 1-3-0.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Game #10 Washington Capitals at St. Louis Blues

Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO

When: October 27, 2007, 8:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 3-6-0-1
Caps Game 10 Record: 12-15-5-0
All-Time vs. STL: 34-35-12-0
Last Season vs. STL: Did not play
Last Meeting: 1/19/06, WAS 5 STL 4 OT-SO

This Year:
WAS Record: 4-5-0
Standings Points: 8
Division Rank: Tied 3rd
Conference Rank: Tied 10th
Last Game: 10/26/2007, WAS 2 VAN 3

Streak: Loss 1

STL Record: 5-3-0
Standings Points: 10
Division Rank: Tied 3rd
Conference Rank: Tied 7th
Last Game: 10/25/2007, STL 0 CLB 3
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 25 KOZLOV, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 2: 19 BACKSTROM, 92 NYLANDER, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 18 PETTINGER, 39 STECKEL, 15 GORDON
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 3 POTI, 23 JURCINA
Defense Pair 2: 2 POTHIER, 26 MORRISONN
Defense Pair 3: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

St. Louis
Forward Line 1: 9 KARIYA, 7 TKACHUK, 22 BOYES
Forward Line 2: 12 STEMPNIAK, 39 WEIGHT, 42 BACKES
Forward Line 3: 62 RUCINSKY, 18 MCCLEMENT, 21 MAYERS
Forward Line 4: 19 KING, 17 R. JOHNSON, 20 M. JOHNSON
Defense Pair 1: 4 BREWER, 5 JACKMAN
Defense Pair 2: 6 BACKMAN, 6 E. JOHNSON
Defense Pair 3: 27 SALVADOR, 77 MCKEE
Goalie: 34 LEGACE
Back-up Goalie: 35 TOIVONEN

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 44 EMINGER (ankle) IR, 17 CLARK (head)
St. Louis – 6 E. JOHNSON (foot fracture) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Alexander Semin needs 4 Points to reach 100 for his career
Chris Clark needs 3 Points to reach 100 with the Capitals
Matt Pettinger needs 7 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:

The Capitals lost last evening 3-2 to Vancouver. The real loss, however, was Capitals Captain Chris Clark. Clark did not make the flight to St. Louis and is recovering from a major ear laceration. In the last minute of the game an errant Alex Ovechkin slap shot hit Clark in the side of the head as he tried to screen the goalie. No word yet when he might return. This will cause Coach Halon to jumble his lines again. Clark had 2 goals and 2 assists in the last two games playing on the first line. Look for Tomas Fleischmann to be placed in Clark’s spot. Caps goalie may get the start and it would be his first start ever against the team he came into the league with. St. Louis is coming off a shut out loss to Columbus. Both teams are young so look for the Caps to control the pace and force the Blues into giving up the puck.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 STL 2.


Official Preview

Semin Signs 2 Year Extension

According to the Associated Press, Alexander Semin has signed a two year $9.2 million contract extension with Washington. Semin would have been a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Capitals 2 Canucks 3

The Caps couldn't break through the wall that is Roberto Luongo. Even with the power play working for 2 goals on 4 attempts, the Caps could not get anything else past the Vancouver goaltender. The Caps also gave up two power play goals and are at 75.6% on the year. The Caps played a physical game out hitting the visitors 32 to 12 and the play was mostly even. The deciding goal came off a shot that hit Olie Kolzig's shoulder, went off the cross bar and was swatted out of mid air into the back of the Caps net by Taylor Pyatt. The Caps have little time to dwell on this game as they head to St. Louis to take on the Blues Saturday night.

Of Note:
  • The Caps lost Game #9 last season to Vancouver by the the same score of 3-2.
  • The Caps out shot Vancouver 28 to 26. Brian Pothier recorded 8 shots on goal.
  • Alex Ovechkin had a two point night (1G, 1A) giving him 209 for his career. He is tied with Dino Ciccarelli for 30th on the All-Time Capitals points list. Ovechkin accomplished the feat in 51 fewer games than Ciccarelli.
  • Tom Poti missed the game with a groin injury. To replace him on the power play. Head Coach Glen Hanlon went with 5 forwards on the #1 power play unit.
  • The Caps won 44 of 68 face offs. Boyd Gordon led the by winning 13 of 18 draws, followed by Dave Steckel who won 12 of 17 draws.
  • Chris Clark recorded 2 assists but left the game in the final minute after being struck in the head by an Alex Ovechkin slap shot.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Friday, October 26, 2007

Game #9 Washington Capitals vs. Vacouver Canucks




Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: October 26, 2007, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 6-4-1-0
Caps Game 9 Record: 13-15-3-1
All-Time vs. VAN: 38-32-9-1
Last Season vs. VAN: 0-0-1
Last Meeting: 10/27/06, WAS 2 VAN 3 OT-SO

This Year:
WAS Record: 4-4-0
Standings Points: 8
Division Rank: Tied 3rd
Conference Rank: Tied 10th
Last Game: 10/24/2007, WAS 5 TAM 3
Streak: Win 1

VAN Record: 4-6-0
Standings Points: 8
Division Rank: Tied 4th
Conference Rank: Tied 12th
Last Game: 10/24/2007, VAN 2 DET 3
Streak: Loss 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 25 KOZLOV, 17 CLARK
Forward Line 2: 19 BACKSTROM, 92 NYLANDER, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 18 PETTINGER, 39 STECKEL, 15 GORDON
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Defense Pair 1: 3 POTI, 23 JURCINA
Defense Pair 2: 2 POTHIER, 26 MORRISONN
Defense Pair 3: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Vancouver
Forward Line 1: 22 SEDIN, 33 SEDIN, 9 PYATT
Forward Line 2: 19 NASLUND, 17 KESLER, 27 ISBISTER
Forward Line 3: 24 COOKE, 7 MORRISON, 14 BURROWS
Forward Line 4: 20 COWAN, 15 RITCHIE, 16 LINDEN
Defense Pair 1: 2 OHLUND, 8 MITCHELL
Defense Pair 2: 6 SALO, 5 KRAJICEK
Defense Pair 3: 4 MILLER, 18 WEAVER
Goalie: 1 LUONGO
Back-up Goalie: 41 SANFORD

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 44 EMINGER (ankle) IR
Vancouver – 5 BIEKSA (personal reasons) DTD, 20 COWAN (hip) DTD, 37 RYPIEN (broken finger) IR

Caps Milestones:
Alexander Semin needs 4 Points to reach 100 for his career
Chris Clark needs 5 Points to reach 100 with the Capitals
Matt Pettinger needs 7 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:

The Capitals ended a 4 game losing streak on Wednesday night with a 5-3 win over Tampa. It was the most offense the Caps have put on the board this season. The Caps got production from members of all 4 lines and the defense. Chris Clark, Matt Pettinger, Dave Steckel and Shaone Morrisonn recorded their first points of the season last game. They will have to continue this effort to be successful against Vancouver. Goalie Roberto Luongo has had the Caps number in the past, but the Canucks have had a rough beginning and are in the midst of a 2 game losing streak. This is their 4th road game in 5 nights. Is there a Swedish translator in the house? Between the two teams there are 7 Swedish born players on the roster. Look for the Canucks to come out hard and try to establish the lead. The Caps will have to keep the pressure on the Vancouver net and wear them down. Look for the Caps to be physical early and score late.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 VAN 2.

Official Preview

Thursday, October 25, 2007

NHL's Biggest Capital Killers Part II

This installment of Capital Killers profiles the top 5 opponents that did the most damage to the Capitals over the past two seasons.


#5 Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta Thrashers - Kovalchuk played 14 games against the Capitals scoring 9 goals and 10 assists for 19 points. 9 of his points came on the power play (3G, 6A) and he had 1 game winning goal. His +10 rating in tied for 2nd highest among all Capital opponents. The Atlanta winger also leads all opponents with 23 giveaways and 31 missed shots. He is 2nd in takeaways with 20. He was taken first overall by Atlanta in the 2001 draft. This season he has 5 goals and 4 assists in 9 games. In the season opener this year he had 1 assist in the 3-1 loss to Washington.


#4 Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina Hurricanes - The Carolina center had 19 points in 16 games against Washington, 9 goals and 10 assists. His most impressive stat is his face-offs. Of the 438 draws against the Caps he has won 265 of them for a 60.5 win percentage. His 5 power play goals ties him with Pittsburgh's Mark Recchi for most among Capital opponents. Brind'Amour was the first round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 1988. He was traded to Philadelphia in 2000. He has 2 goals and 11 assists in 10 games this season. He was held pointless against Washington in the October 6th game at Verizon Center.


#3 Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning - Lecavalier put up 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points in 15 games against the Caps. Included in those points are 4 power play goals, 3 power play assists, 1 game winning goal, and 4 shorthanded goals. He has the most goals and shorthanded goals of any Washington opponent. He won the "Rocket" Richard Trophy for most goals in the NHL last season with 52 goals. His one downfall was the shootout. Against Washington he recored no goals on 4 attempts. Tampa drafted Lecavalier #1 overall in the 1998 draft. This season he has 4 goals and 4 assists in 7 games. The Capitals held him pointless in the Caps October 24th 5-3 win over Tampa.


#2 Marian Hossa, Atlanta Thrashers - In 16 games Hossa had 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points against Washington. On the power play he had 3 goals and 8 assists. He scored the game winning goal 2 times and had 1 shorthanded goal. He also led all opponents with 21 takeaways against the Caps. His +/- rating was the third highest amount at +9. Hossa was drafted in the first round of the 1997 draft by Ottawa. He was traded to Atlanta in 2005. This season he has 2 goals and 1 assist in 6 games and sat out 2 games with a groin injury. In the October 5th season opener against the Caps he did not have a point.


#1 Marc Savard, Boston Bruins & Atlanta Thrashers - Marc Savard is the #1 Capitals Killer. Against Washington, he played 8 games with Atlanta and 4 games with Boston. In the 12 games he put up 27 points for a gaudy 2.25 points per game average. He recorded 4 goals and 23 assists. On the power play he had 3 goals and 12 assists. He scored 1 game winning goal, had a +11 rating and was a solid 52% in the face-off circle. Savard was drafted by the Rangers in 1995. In 1999 he was traded to Calgary. Calgary traded him to Atlanta in 2002. In 2006 he signed with Boston as an unrestricted free agent. This season he has 1 goal and 8 assists in 9 games.

Capitals 5 Tampa 3

You knew it had to happen. The Caps were too good to be that bad. Wednesday the Caps put 5 tallies on the scoreboard against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Chris Clark was moved back up to the first line and contributed 2 goals including the game winner. Alex Ovechkin had a 3 point night (1G, 2A) and Dave Steckel scored his 1st career NHL goal. The Caps controlled Tampa's high scoring 1st line for much of the game. So frustrated was Vincent Lecavalier that after being checked by Shone Morrisonn he chopped him with his stick and initiated a fight. Lecavalier was given 19 minutes in penalties for the effort. Following Lecavalier's foray, Tampa tried to mount a come back with a goal by perennial Capital killer Martin St. Louis but were closed out with an empty net goal from Ovechkin.

Of Note:
  • Chris Clark's 2 goals were his first points of the season. He earned the #1 star of the night.
  • Mike Green Played in his 100th Career NHL game.
  • Brian Pothier recorded 2 assists and a +4 rating.
  • Jeff Schultz had a +3 rating on the evening.
  • The shots on goal were even for both teams at 29.
  • The Capitals killed off all 3 Tampa power plays. All 3 coming in the second period.
  • Brooks Laich scored his second goal of the season with assists from Matt Pettinger and Shone Morrisonn. It was the first points of the season for Pettinger and Morrisonn.
  • The Victory was Olie Kolzig's 23rd career win vs. Tampa.
  • Alex Semin returned from an injured ankle and recorded 5 shots on goal.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Game #8 Washington Capitals Vs. Tampa Bay Lightning


Where:
Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: October 24, 2007, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 3-8-2-0
Caps Game 8 Record: 10-17-5-0
All-Time vs. TAM: 42-22-6-4
Last Season vs. TAM: 2-4-2
Last Meeting: 3/31/07, WAS 2 TAM 5

This Year:
WAS Record: 3-4-0
Standings Points: 6
Division Rank: Tied 3rd
Conference Rank: Tied 11th
Last Game: 10/20/2007, WAS 1 PIT 2
Streak: Loss 4

TAM Record: 4-2-0
Standings Points: 8
Division Rank: Tied 2nd
Conference Rank: Tied 7th
Last Game: 10/20/2007, TAM 6 ATL 2
Streak: Win 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 Ovechkin, 25 Kozlov, 17 Clark
Forward Line 2: 19 Backstrom, 92 Nylander, 28 Semin
Forward Line 3: 18 Pettinger, 39 Steckel, 15 Gordon
Forward Line 4: 87 Brashear, 21 Laich, 43 Fleischmann
Defense Pair 1: 3 Poti, 23 Jurcina
Defense Pair 2: 2 Pothier, 26 Morrisonn
Defense Pair 3: 55 Schultz, 52 Green
Goalie: 37 Kolzig
Back-up Goalie: 1 Johnson

Tampa
Forward Line 1: 20 Prospal, 4 Lecavalier, 26 St. Louis
Forward Line 2: 17 Hlavac, 19 Richards, 7 Ouellet
Forward Line 3: 21 Darche, 77 Gratton, 16 Ward
Forward Line 4: 36 Roy, 29 MacDonald, 74 Tarnasky
Defense Pair 1: 54 Ranger, 71 Kuba
Defense Pair 2: 55 O’Brien, 37 Lukowich
Defense Pair 3: 39 Lundin, 3 Janik
Goalie: 40 Holmqvist
Back-up Goalie: 30 Denis

Injuries:
Washington – 14 Fehr (hip) IR, 44 Eminger (ankle) IR
Tampa – 22 Boyle (wrist) IR, 34 Ryan Craig (herniated disk) IR, 27 Taylor (hip) IR, 24 Karlsson (abdominal strain) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Mike Green will play in his 100th career game vs. Tampa
Alexander Semin needs 4 Points to reach 100 for his career
Chris Clark needs 7 Points to reach 100 with the Capitals
Matt Pettinger needs 8 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:

The Caps have lost 4 straight games coming into the match up with Tampa. Help is on the way in the name of Alexander Semin. Semin’s ankle may be ready to go against the Bolts. Last season he torched Tampa to the tune of 9 goals and 13 points in 8 games. The Capitals are trying to boost their power play that is currently ranked 28th in the league. Semin led the Caps with 17 power play goals last season. However they need to be aware of Tampa who scored 4 shorthanded goals against the Caps last year. Tampa is ranked 20th on the penalty kill and have 1 shorthanded goal in 6 games this season. For the Caps to win they need to use their puck control skills to keep Tampa’s from setting up in the Caps zone. Tampa out shot the Caps last season by 47 shots (263 to 216). They also need to keep out of the penalty box. The Caps have allowed 9 power play goals in the last four games. Look for the Capitals to take the play to Tampa and with Semin back in the lineup, beat the Lightning in a close one.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 TAM 2.

Official Preview

Editor note: Please let me know if there is any other information you would like to see in the game previews. Thanks for reading - Joe

NHL's Biggest Capital Killers Part 1

In a this two part segment I am going to run down the 10 NHL players that have hurt the Capitals the most over the past two seasons.


#10 Dan Boyle, Tampa Bay Lightning - Boyle, a defenseman for the lightning, has played in 16 games vs. the Caps the past two years. He amassed 5 goals and 12 assists for 17 points with 1 game winning goal. He is especially dangerous on the power play with 2 goals and 6 assists. To go with the offense he also had 13 hits, 14 takeaways, 18 blocked shots and a +5 rating. Boyle was originally signed as a free agent by the Florida in 1998 and was traded to Tampa in 2002 for a '03 5th round draft pick. Currently, he is on injured reserve for a wrist injury following a freak skate incident in the locker room after a preseason game with Washington.


#9 Jozef Stumpel, Florida Panthers - The Florida forward racked up 6 goals and 11 assists for 17 points against the Caps in 15 games. Special teams is where he hurts the Caps the most with 4 goals and 7 assists on the power play and 1 shorthanded goal. In the shootout, Stumpel scored 1 goal on 2 attempts. He is tied for the lead among all opponents with 3 game winning goals against the Caps. Stumpel was taken in the second round of the 1991 entry draft by the Boston Bruins. He was traded to LA in 1997 and then back to Boston in 2001. Boston then traded him to Nashville in 2003. He signed as a free agent with Florida in 2005. This year he has 1 goal and 2 assists in 8 games.


#8 Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes - Staal had 17 points against Washington in 16 games. He recorded 7 goals and 10 assists with 2 goals and 4 assists on the power play. Staal led all opponents with 83 shots on goal with an additional 19 missed shots. Staal was drafted 2nd overall by the Hurricanes in the 2003 draft. This year he has 6 goals and 3 assists in 9 games. He was held pointless against the Caps in the October 6th home opener in Washington.


#7 Justin Williams, Carolina Hurricanes - The Carolina winger also had 17 points in 16 games vs the Capitals. Of his 8 goals and 9 assists, he had 3 power play assists, 2 shorthanded goals, and 2 game winning goals. He also blocked 17 shots and has a +6 rating against the Capitals. Williams was drafted in the 1st round by Philadelphia in 2000. He was traded to Carolina in 2004. This season he has 3 goals and 8 assists in 9 games. He too was held pointless against the Caps in the October 6th home opener in Washington.


#6 Erik Cole, Carolina Hurricanes - Cole played 11 games against the Capitals scoring 17 points with 9 goals and 8 assists. He took 33 shots on goal giving him a 27.3% shooting percentage. His points include 3 power play goals, 4 power play assists, 1 shorthanded goal and 1 game winner. He has a +5 rating against the Caps and recored 23 hits. Carolina drafted Cole in the 3rd round of the 1998 draft. This year he has 2 goals and 3 assists in 7 games and is currently day-to-day with a foot injury. The Caps held Cole without a point or a shot on goal in the Caps October 6th home opener in Washington.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Capitals 1 Penguins 2

The Capitals played a decent game on Saturday but just can't seem to put everything together yet. Through the early part of this season the Caps have lacked point production, especially on the power play. They are averaging an anemic 2 goals per game and have 4 power play goals in 34 chances (11.8%) and that just doesn't cut it at this level. As of late the penalty kill has been porous. Allowing 9 goals in the last 25 chances. Of course it doesn't help that they have had to defend a 5 on 3 advantage in 5 consecutive games. In the second period against Pittsburgh they were in the box 4 times for minor penalties and Pittsburgh scored the game winning goal on the last one. When you give a team with that much skill that many chances the odds are not going to be in your favor. The overall effort is there the Caps just need to put it together.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin's point streak was ended at 6 games. He had 8 shots on goal, 5 hits, 2 takeaways and a blocked shot.
  • Brian Pothier scored the Caps goal in the first period 13 seconds after Sergei Gonchar had returned from the penalty box.
  • Nicklas Backstrom recorded his 5th assist of the season.
  • The Caps were 0 for 3 on the power play and are 0 for 9 in their last 2 games.
  • Boyd Gordon returned to action after missing 3 games with back spasms.
  • Brent Johnson played extremely well in goal giving up 2 goals on 22 shots.
  • The Caps recorded their first 2 fighting penalties of the year with Donald Brashear taking on George Laraque and Matt Pettinger fighting Jordan Staal.
  • Jordan is the second Staal to record his first NHL fight against a Capital. Brother Eric's first fight was with former Cap Jeff Halpern in the 2005-06 season.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Friday, October 19, 2007

Game #7 Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: October 20, 2007, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 2-9-1-0
Caps Game 6 Record: 9-18-5-0
All-Time vs. PIT: 75-84-16-2
Last Season vs. PIT: 0-3-1
Last Meeting: 3/27/07, WAS 3 PIT 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 3-3-0
Standings Points: 6
Division Rank: Tied 2nd
Conference Rank: Tied 4th
Last Game: 10/18/2007, WAS 2 NYI 5
Streak: Loss 3

PIT Record: 2-3-0
Standings Points: 4
Division Rank: Tied 4th
Conference Rank: Tied 13th
Last Game: 10/17/2007, PIT 4 NJ 5
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 Ovechkin, 25 Kozlov, 50 Motzko
Forward Line 2: 19 Backstrom, 92 Nylander, 43 Fleischmann
Forward Line 3: 18 Pettinger, 39 Steckel, 17 Clark
Forward Line 4: 87 Brashear, 21 Laich, 10 Bradley
Defense Pair 1: 3 Poti, 23 Jurcina
Defense Pair 2: 2 Pothier, 26 Morrisonn
Defense Pair 3: 55 Schultz, 52 Green
Goalie: 37 Kolzig
Back-up Goalie: 1 Johnson

Pittsburgh
Forward Line 1: 8 Recci, 87 Crosby, 71 Malkin
Forward Line 2: 12 Malone, 11 Staal, 17 Sykora
Forward Line 3: 10 Roberts, 25 Talbot, 20 Armstrong
Forward Line 4: 18 Hall, 16 Christensen, 37 Ruutu
Defense Pair 1: 55 Gonchar, 19 Whitney
Defense Pair 2: 44 Orpik, 5 Sydor
Defense Pair 3: 3 Eaton, 4 Scuderi
Goalie: 29 Fleury
Back-up Goalie: 30 Sabourin

Injuries:
Washington – 14 Fehr (hip) IR, 44 Eminger (Ankle) IR, 28 Semin (Ankle) DTD, Gordon (back) DTD
Pittsburgh – Laraque (groin) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Alexander Semin needs 4 Points to reach 100 for his career
Chris Clark needs 7 Points to reach 100 with the Capitals
Matt Pettinger needs 8 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:
The Caps and Pens renew the rivalry on Saturday night at Verizon Center. Both teams are struggling a bit in the early part of the season. The Caps are trying to figure out their special teams play while the Penguins are trying to keep pucks out of their net. Through Thursday, the Pens had given up 20 goals in 5 games. The atmosphere will be great as NHL hype machine has built up the Alex Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby match up. The game should be fast paced and look for lots of scoring on both sides. In the two years since the lock out Pittsburgh has dominated the series but Washington has much more skill on its roster this year. I think the edge goes to the Caps with better goaltending.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 6 PIT 4.

Capitals 2 Islanders 5

The Capitals second home game is one they would like to forget quickly. They started the game with good intensity racking up 13 shots in the first period, but couldn't get the puck in the net. The Islanders got a late goal on a fluke play in front of the Caps net. In the second period, the Caps gave the opponents a 5-on-3 advantage for the 3rd consecutive game and were lucky to only give up one goal. Down 2 to nil to start the third, they came out and in less than 5 minutes it was tied. Goals from Alex Ovechkin and Tomas Fleischmann. Then two trips to the penalty box and 2 Islander goals. Finally, Bill Guerin finished the Caps off with a hat trick goal.

The penalty killers gave up 3 power play goals on 5 attempts. The power play was unsuccessful on 6 attempts. The normally reliable Olie Kolzig gave up two goals I know he would like back. It is tough watching this team. It seems like every time they get a good break its followed by goals from the other side. The Capitals now prepare for the showdown with Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin's goal gives him points in all 6 Caps games this season (4G, 2A).
  • Nicklas Backstrom assisted on Fleischmann's first goal of the season. Backstrom has 4 assists on the season.
  • Joe Motzko recorded his first point as a Capital. He made a nice pass to set up Ovechkin's goal.
  • The Caps were out drawn in the face off dot for the first time this year winning 22 and losing 24.
  • Tom Poti played his 600th career game.
  • Chris Clark, Matt Pettinger, Boyd Gordon, and David Steckel combined have no points in 21 man-games this season.
  • It their last 3 games the Caps have given up 8 power play goals and scored only twice with the man advantage.
  • The Caps out shot the Islanders 29 to 21.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tonight's Lineup 10/18/07




According to Capitals Insider the following will be the lineup for the Caps:

Ovechkin-Kozlov-Motzko
Backstrom-Nylander-Fleischmann
Pettinger-Laich-Clark
Brashear-Steckel-Bradley

Defense:

Poti-Green
Jurcina-Morrisonn
Pothier-Schultz

Kolzig will start

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Atlanta Fires Coach

Well, 6 games is all it took. According the the Atlanta Journal Constitution the Atlanta Thrashers have fired Head Coach Bob Heartly.

Game #6 Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders



Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: October 18, 2007, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 6-5-0-0
Caps Game 6 Record: 10-16-4-2
All-Time vs. NYI: 80-78-13-0
Last Season vs. NYI: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 10/8/07, WAS 2 NYI 1

This Year:
WAS Record: 3-2-0
Standings Points: 6
Division Rank: Tied 2nd
Conference Rank: Tied 4th
Last Game: 10/13/2007, WAS 3 BUF 7
Streak: Loss 2

NYI Record: 3-3-0
Standings Points: 6
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: Tied 4th
Last Game: 10/13/2007, NYI 1 PHI 3
Streak: Loss 2

Season Series:
Game 1 10/8/07, WAS 2 NYI 1
Game 2 10/18/07
Game 3 12/22/07
Game 4 2/20/08

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 Ovechkin, 25 Kozlov, 43 Fleischmann
Forward Line 2: 19 Backstrom, 92 Nylander, 17 Clark
Forward Line 3: 18 Pettinger, 15 B.Gordon, 10 Bradley
Forward Line 4: 87 Brashear, 39 Steckel, 21 Laich
Defense Pair 1: 3 Poti, 23 Jurcina
Defense Pair 2: 2 Pothier, 26 Morrisonn
Defense Pair 3: 4 Erskine, 52 Green
Goalie: 37 Kolzig
Back-up Goalie: 1 Johnson

Islanders
Forward Line 1: 26 Fedotenko, 89 Comrie, 13 Guerin
Forward Line 2: 20 Bergenheim, 63 Vasicek, 81 Satan
Forward Line 3: 11 Hilbert, 18 Sillinger, 7 Hunter
Forward Line 4: 12 Simon, 10 Park, Bootland
Defense Pair 1: 24 Martinek, 47 Bergeron
Defense Pair 2: 32 Witt, 25 Sutton
Defense Pair 3: 8 Gervais, 14 Campoli
Goalie: 39 DiPietro
Back-up Goalie: 34 Dubielewicz

Injuries:
Washington – 14 Fehr (hip) IR, 44 Eminger (Ankle) IR, 28 Semin (Ankle) DTD, Ovechkin (undisclosed) DTD, Gordon (back) DTD

Islanders – 17 Bates (abdomin) IR, 16 Sim (knee) IR

Caps Milestones:
Tom Poti will play in his 600th career game on Thursday night.
Alexander Semin needs 4 Points to reach 100 for his career
Chris Clark needs 7 Points to reach 100 with the Capitals
Matt Pettinger needs 8 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:

After last weekend the Caps are looking to rebound with a good performance against the New York Islanders. The Caps need to get back to what was working for them in the first two games of the season, puck control, shots on goal, and discipline. The last 3 games the Caps have been severely out shot 125 to 63. They have given the opponents 15 power play opportunities in the last two games. In the first three games they allowed only 4 chances in each game. Ovechkin and Gordon are expected to play, but Semin is not. Look for the Caps to break out of the shooting slump and simplify their play. I predict Alex Ovechkin with a huge night. Congratulations to Tom Poti who will be playing in his 600th career game.

Update - D Jeff Schultz has been recalled from Hershey.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 NYI 1.

Official Preview

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Capitals 3 Sabres 7

The Caps were beaten soundly by the Buffalo Sabres last night. While the Caps held a one to nil lead for more than half the game, the Sabres erupted for 4 goals in 6 minutes at the end of the second period. The Caps tried to pick up the slack in the third period but couldn't match the Sabres output.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin scored a power play goal in the third period. He is the only Cap with points in all five games.
  • Mike Green and Michal Nylander had 2 point nights, with each scoring a goal and recording an assist.
  • For the second game in a row the Caps took 8 minor penalties. They allowed 2 goals on 7 Buffalo power plays. The Caps were 1 for 4 with the man advantage.
  • Brent Johnson was under siege as Buffalo out shot the Caps 53 to 26. That's one shot every 1 minute 8 seconds.
  • The Capitals won the face off battle winning 39 of 65 (60%). David Steckel won 18 and lost 7.
  • Joe Motzko played his first game as a Capital.
  • The Caps might as well forget this road trip and start preparing for the NY Islanders who come to Verizon Center on Thursday.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Game #5 Washington Capitals at Buffalo Sabres


Where: HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY

When: October 13, 2007, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 4-11-2-0
Caps Game 5 Record: 7-24-1-0
All-Time vs. BUF: 32-72-15-1
Last Season vs. BUF: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 4/7/07, WAS 0 BUF 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 3-1-0
Standings Points: 6
Division Rank: Tied 2nd
Conference Rank: Tied 4nd
Last Game: 10/12/2007, WAS 1 NYR 3
Streak: Loss 1

BUF Record: 1-2-0
Standings Points: 2
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: Tied 11th
Last Game: 10/11/2007, BUF 6 ATL 0
Streak: Win 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 Ovechkin, 25 Kozlov, 43 Fleischmann
Forward Line 2: 19 Backstrom, 92 Nylander, 17 Clark
Forward Line 3: 18 Pettinger, 39 Steckel, 10 Bradley
Forward Line 4: 87 Brashear, 16 Sutherby, 21 Laich
Defense Pair 1: 3 Poti, 23 Jurcina
Defense Pair 2: 2 Pothier, 26 Morrisonn
Defense Pair 3: 4 Erskine, 52 Green
Goalie: 37 Kolzig
Back-up Goalie: 1 Johnson

Buffalo
Forward Line 1: Vanek, Roy, Pominville
Forward Line 2: Hecht, Connolly, Afinogenov
Forward Line 3: Kotalik, Gaustad, Stafford
Forward Line 4: Paille, Mair, Ryan
Defense Pair 1: Campgell, Tallinder
Defense Pair 2: Lydman, Spacek
Defense Pair 3: Kalinin, Paetsch
Goalie: Miller
Back-up Goalie: Thibault

Injuries:
Washington – 14 Fehr (hip), 28 Semin (Ankle), 44 Eminger (Ankle), 15 Gordon
Buffalo – Numminen (heart)

Caps Milestones:
Alex Ovechkin scored his 100th career goal on Friday night. His 202 points is tied with Rod Langway for 31st in Capitals franchise history.
Alexander Semin needs 4 Points to reach 100 for his career
Chris Clark needs 7 Points to reach 100 with the Capitals
Matt Pettinger needs 8 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:

After losing to the Rangers last night, the Capitals head to Buffalo for a game against the Sabers. The Capitals through the game plan out the window against the Rangers. They took 12 minutes in penalties in the first period leading to the Rangers three goals. Following the fist period the Caps were never able to get any sort of cohesion together in their lines. Tonight they will have to play much more disciplined if they expect to win. The Sabres may have lost their two big guns but they still have a wealth of talent. It should be an exciting game as both teams play a very up tempo style of hockey.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 BUF 3.

Official Preview

Capitals 1 Rangers 3

The Capitals lost to the New York Rangers 3 to 1 last night. The Caps gave up 3 power play goals in the first period. After not taking more than 4 penalties a game in the first three games they had 5 penalties in the first period last night. The Rangers scored first after Alex Ovechkin took a tripping penalty 10 seconds into the game. Ovechkin tied the score with a power play goal after Mike Green feed him the puck after being knocked down just inside the Rangers zone. After the goal, the penalties continued for the Caps and they never looked in sync all night.

Of Note:

  • Alex Ovechkin scored the 100th goal of his career. He has played 167 career games. His 201st point passes Jaromir Jagr and ties him with Rod Langway for 31st on the Captals All-Time scoring list.
  • Olie Kolzig stopped 38 of 41 shots on goal. The Caps managed only 25 shots on the Ranger net. Ovechkin recorded 7 shots on goal.
  • For the first time this season the Caps were beaten in face offs 27 to 31 (46.6%).
  • Mike Green and Tom Poti assisted on Ovechkin’s goal. It was the first point for Poti as a Capital.



Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Game #4 Washington Capitals at New York Rangers

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

When: October 12, 2007, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 3-8-0-1
Caps Game 3 Record: 16-15-0-1
All-Time vs. NYR: 80-72-18-4
Last Season vs. NYR: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 2/10/07, WAS 2 NYI 5

This Year:
WAS Record: 3-0-0
Standings Points: 6
Division Rank: Tied 1st
Conference Rank: Tied 2nd
Last Game: 10/8/2007, WAS 2 NYI 1
Streak: Win 3


NYR Record: 1-2-0
Standings Points: 2
Division Rank: Tied 3rd
Conference Rank: Tied 9th
Last Game: 10/10/2007, NYR 1 NYI 2
Streak: Loss 2

Probable Line-Ups:

Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 Ovechkin, 25 Kozlov, 43 Fleischmann
Forward Line 2: 19 Backstrom, 92 Nylander, 17 Clark
Forward Line 3: 18 Pettinger, 15 B.Gordon, 10 Bradley
Forward Line 4: 87 Brashear, 39 Steckel, 21 Laich
Defense Pair 1: 3 Poti, 23 Jurcina
Defense Pair 2: 2 Pothier, 26 Morrisonn
Defense Pair 3: 4 Erskine, 52 Green
Goalie: 37 Kolzig
Back-up Goalie: 1 Johnson

Rangers
Forward Line 1: 82 Straka, 23 Drury, 68 Jagr
Forward Line 2: 81 Hossa, 19 Gomez, 14 Shanahan
Forward Line 3: 25 Prucha, 17 Dubinsky, 24 Callahan
Forward Line 4: 44 Hollwig, 15 Betts, 28 Orr
Defense Pair 1: 3 Rozsival, 27 Mara
Defense Pair 2: 51 Tyutin, 5 Girardi
Defense Pair 3: 8 Malik, 18 Staal
Goalie: 30 Lundqvist
Back-up Goalie: 40 Valiquette

Injuries:
Washington – 14 Fehr (hip), 28 Semin (Ankle), 44 Eminger (Ankle)
Rangers – 16 Avery (shoulder), Barnes (undisclosed)

Caps Milestones:
Alex Ovechkin needs 1 Goal to reach 100 for his career
Alexander Semin needs 4 Points to reach 100 for his career
Chris Clark needs 7 Points to reach 100 with the Capitals
Matt Pettinger needs 8 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:

The Capitals take their undefeated record to New York to face the Rangers. The Capitals have been playing an up tempo puck possession style of hockey. Expect them to go right at the heart of the Rangers defense. Alexander Semin is not expected to play and Head Coach Glen Hanlon may move Michal Nylander up to the first power play unit. The Rangers are coming off losses to Ottawa and rival Islanders. Olie Kolzig is expected to start in goal on Friday and Brent Johnson will face Buffalo on Saturday. The Rangers are still assimilating this summer’s free agent cache into their lineup. The chemistry just hasn’t been there yet and I think the Caps will exploit this weakness.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 NYR 1.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Capitals Assign Schultz to Hershey

According to Capitals Insider, Jeff Schultz has been assigned to the Hershey Bears. This move is not unexpected. With the good play of John Erskine and Mike Green there hasn't been any room for Schultz to get into the lineup. He's a young player and needs to be playing games to improve. He should see quite a bit of ice time in Hershey.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Capitals 2 Islanders 1

The Caps didn't have a particularly good day but with the help of Olie Kolzig were able to pull out the win. They were out shot 31 to 12 and the power play was shut down 0 for 6. The penalty killers were outstanding again not allowing a goal in 4 chances, including 1:34 of an Islander 5 on 3. It may have been ugly but they are 3-0-0 to start the year.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin and Viktor Kozlov continued their scoring ways connecting on the Capitals first goal. Both have points in all 3 Caps games.
  • Brooks Laich scored the game winning goal off of a rebound midway through the 3rd period.
  • The Caps did well again in the face off circle winning 55% of the draws. Boyd Gordon won 13 of 20.
  • Kolzig and Laich were named the first and second stars of the game.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Game #3 Washington Capitals at New York Islanders

Where: Nassau Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

When: October 8, 2007, 2:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 3-6-0-0
Caps Game 3 Record: 9-16-6-1
All-Time vs. NYI: 79-78-13-0
Last Season vs. CAR: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 3/10/07, WAS 2 NYI 5

This Year:
WAS Record: 2-0-0
Standings Points: 4
Division Rank: Tied 1st
Conference Rank: Tied 2nd
Last Game: 10/6/2007, WAS 2 CAR 0
Streak: Win 2

NYI Record: 2-0-0
Standings Points: 4
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: Tied 2nd
Last Game: 10/5/2007, NYI 3 BUF 2
Streak: Win 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 Ovechkin, 25 Kozlov, 43 Fleischmann
Forward Line 2: 19 Backstrom, 92 Nylander, 17 Clark
Forward Line 3: 18 Pettinger, 15 B.Gordon, 10 Bradley
Forward Line 4: 87 Brashear, 39 Steckel, 21 Laich
Defense Pair 1: 3 Poti, 23 Jurcina
Defense Pair 2: 2 Pothier, 26 Morrisonn
Defense Pair 3: 4 Erskine, 52 Green
Goalie: 37 Kolzig
Back-up Goalie: 1 Johnson

Carolina
Forward Line 1: 26 Fedotenko, 18 Sillinger, 13 Guerin
Forward Line 2: 16 Sim, 89 Comrie, 81 Satan
Forward Line 3: 11 Hilbert, 63 Vasicek, 7 Hunter
Forward Line 4: 20 Bergenheim, 10 Park, Bootland
Defense Pair 1: 24 Martinek, 47 Bergeron
Defense Pair 2: 32 Witt, 25 Sutton
Defense Pair 3: 8 Gervais, 14 Campoli
Goalie: 39 DiPietro
Back-up Goalie: 34 Dubielewicz

Injuries:
Washington – 14 Fehr (hip), 28 Semin (Ankle), 44 Eminger (Ankle)
Alexander Semin did not play much in the third period vs. Carolina. He is still suffering the effects of a sprained ankle from preseason action. He is listed as day to day.

Islanders – 17 Bates (abdomin), 16 Sim (knee),12 Simon (suspended)

Caps Milestones:
Last game Alex Ovechkin scored his 200th career point with the game winning goal vs. Carolina.
Alex Ovechkin needs 1 Goal to reach 100 for his career
Alexander Semin needs 4 Points to reach 100 for his career
Chris Clark needs 7 Points to reach 100 with the Capitals
Matt Pettinger needs 8 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:

The Capitals head to Long Island, New York to play the Islanders on Monday afternoon. This will be the Caps third game in four days. They will attempt to keep the momentum going forward after two impressive wins over Atlanta on Friday and Carolina on Saturday. The Caps have been especially good controlling the pace of the games with excellent puck control. The pace has been extremely high and the opponents have been chasing the Caps for much of the time. The Caps have a 73 to 56 advantage in shots on goal. Special teams play has been very good so far, they are 2 for 11 on the power play and 8 for 8 in penalty killing. Both Viktor Kozlov and Tom Poti will play their first game vs. their former team since coming to the Caps as free agents this summer. Like the Caps the Islanders went through a major personnel transition this summer. They lost not only Kozlov and Poti but Sean Hill, Richard Zednik, Jason Blake, and Ryan Smith as well. New company includes Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie, and Andy Sutton. The Islanders have started the season well winning their first two games behind the goal scoring of Comrie, who has 4 goals in 2 games. Look for the Caps to continue to put the pressure on the Islanders and control the pace of the game. They need to put a lot of heat on goaltender Rick DiPietro and make him work hard.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 NYI 1.

Official Preview

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