Sunday, December 16, 2007

Game #34 Washington Capitals at Detroit Red Wings

Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI

When: December 17, 2007, 7:00 PM

Caps Record on this Date: 10-6-2-0
Caps Game 34 Record: 11-16-4-1
All-Time vs. DET: 36-41-16-1
Last Season vs. DET: Did not play
Last Meeting: 12/9/05, WAS 3 DET 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 13-18-2
Standings Points: 28
Division Rank: Tied 5th
Conference Rank: 15th
Last Game: 12/15/2007, WAS 3 TAM 2
Streak: Won 1

DET Record: 23-6-3
Standings Points: 49
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st
Last Game: 12/15/2007, DET 5 FLA 2
Streak: Won 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 3: 43 FLEISCHMANN, 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, 23 JURCINA
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Forward Line 1: 40 ZETTERBERG, 13 DATSYUK, 26 HUDLER
Forward Line 2: 18 MALTBY, 51 FILPPULA, 96 HOLMSTROM
Forward Line 3: 93 FRANZEN, 44 HARTIGAN, 37 SAMUELSSON
Forward Line 4: 8 ELLIS, 82 KOPECKY, 11 CLEARY
Defense Pair 1: 5 LIDSTROM, 28 RAFALSKI
Defense Pair 2: 55 KRONWALL, 3 LILJA
Defense Pair 3: 22 LEBDA, 24 CHELIOS
Goalie: 30 OSGOOD
Back-up Goalie: 39 HASEK

Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) IR, 15 GORDON (hand fracture) IR
Detroit – 96 HOLSTROM (knee) DTD, 33 DRAPER (knee) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Pettinger needs 3 Points to reach 100 for his career
Brian Pothier needs 2 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

The Capitals are in snowy Detroit for a game against the best team in the NHL. This happened earlier this year when the Caps went into Ottawa and beat the Senators. However, don’t count on the Red Wings underestimating the Caps. The Caps have won 4 of their last 5 games and need to continue to do the things that have been working, especially winning the puck battles along the boards. Detroit is an extraordinary puck possession team and for the Caps to win they cannot get caught chasing the puck. Look for the Caps to keep up the aggressive forecheck and force the Red Wings to make quick decisions with the puck. The Caps are averaging 29.9 shot on goal per game and will need to keep pumping the rubber on the net to be in this one. It will be a challenge but a win would go a long way for the psyche of this team. I’ll go on a limb on this one and say the Caps win in a close game. Watch Ovechkin, he always seems to fly in these marquee games.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 DET 2

Official Recap

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