Thursday, December 13, 2007

Game #32 Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabers

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: December 14, 2007, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 6-7-2-0
Caps Game 32 Record: 16-14-2-0
All-Time vs. BUF: 32-74-15-1
Last Season vs. BUF: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 11/26/07, WAS 1 BUF 3

This Year:
WAS Record: 12-17-2
Standings Points: 26
Division Rank: Tied 5th
Conference Rank: 15th
Last Game: 12/12/2007, WAS 5 NYR 4 (OT)
Streak: Won 3

BUF Record: 14-14-1
Standings Points: 29
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: Tied 12th
Last Game: 12/12/2007, BUF 5 NYI 3
Streak: Won 1

Game 1: 10/13/07, WAS 3 BUF 7
Game 2: 11/26/07, WAS 1 BUF 3

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 50 MOTZKO
Forward Line 2: 43 FLEISCHMANN, 25 KOZLOV, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 18 PETTINGER, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 53 LAING
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 2: 2 POTHIER, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 3: 3 POTI, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Buffalo
Forward Line 1: 26 VANEK, 55 HECHT, 61 AFINOGENOV
Forward Line 2: 20 PAILLE, 9 ROY, 29 POMINVILLE
Forward Line 3: 76 PETERS, 19 CONNOLLY, 21 STAFFORD
Forward Line 4: 22 MAIR, 28 GAUSTAD, 12 KOTALIK
Defense Pair 1: 5 LYDMAN, 44 SEKERA
Defense Pair 2: 51 CAMPBELL, 10 TALLINDER
Defense Pair 3: 6 SPACEK, 4 PRATT
Goalie: 30 MILLER
Back-up Goalie: 35 THIBAULT

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) IR, 15 GORDON (hand fracture) IR, 92 Michal Nylander (undisclosed) DTD
Buffalo – 45 KALININ (knee) IR, 27 NUMMINEN (heart surgery) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Pettinger needs 4 Points to reach 100 for his career
Brian Pothier needs 4 Points to reach 100 for his career
Michal Nylander needs 4 Goals to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 5 Points to reach 200 for his career
Alex Ovechkin needs 6 Shots on Goal to reach 1,000 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals will go for a season high 4-game winning streak against the Buffalo Sabers. The Caps have come back from early deficits in their last two games to beat the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers. The Caps have been much more resilient under Head Coach Bruce Boudreau. The Sabers have had a tough first 30 games as compared to last season but have still managed to beat the Capitals twice this season. However, in the last 10 games the Caps are averaging 3.20 goals/game under Boudreau. In the first 21 games they were averaging 2.24 goals/game. Look for the Caps to use their aggressive forecheck to disrupt the Sabers offensive breakout. They were not successful in the previous two games but are believing in the Coach’s system and have out shot their opponents in their last 8 games.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 BUF 2

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