Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Game #37 Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: December 26, 2007, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 8-12-3-0
Caps Game 37 Record: 10-15-6-1
All-Time vs. TAM: 44-24-6-4
Last Season vs. TAM: 2-4-2
Last Meeting: 12/22/07, WAS 3 TAM 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 13-19-4
Standings Points: 30
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 15th
Last Game: 12/22/2007, WAS 2 NYI 3
Streak: Loss 3

TAM Record: 15-18-3
Standings Points: 33
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 14th
Last Game: 12/22/2007, TAM 1 CAR 4
Streak: Loss 1

Game 1: 10/24/07, WAS 5 TAM 3
Game 2: 11/10/07, WAS 2 TAM 5
Game 3: 11/16/07, WAS 2 TAM 5
Game 4: 12/15/07, WAS 3 TAM 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 18 PETTINGER
Forward Line 2: 43 FLEISCHMANN, 92 MICHAL NYLANDER, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 87 BRASHEAR, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 21 LAICH, 25 KOZLOV, 53 LAING
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 2: 52 GREEN, 23 JURCINA
Defense Pair 3: 3 POTI, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Tampa
Forward Line 1: 20 PROSPAL, 4 LECAVALIER, 26 ST. LOUIS
Forward Line 2: 21 DARCHE, 19 RICHARDS, 16 WARD
Forward Line 3: 17 HLAVAC, 77 GRATTON, 36 ROY
Forward Line 4: 24 KARLSSON, 74 TARNASKY, 29 MACDONALD
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, 31 RAMO

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) IR, 15 GORDON (hand fracture) IR, 2 POTHIER (thumb fracture) IR
Tampa – 29 MACDONALD (mouth lacerations), 7 OUELLET (shoulder) DTD, 34 CRAIG (knee) IR, 22 BOYLE (wrist) IR, 27 TAYLOR (hip) IR

Caps Milestones:
Alex Ovechkin will play in his 200th career NHL game.
Olie Kolzig needs 1 game to pass Kevin Hatcher for 9th on the Capitals All-Time games played list with 686 games.
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

Preview:
The Capitals will try to end a three game losing skid as the Tampa Lightning come calling to the Phone Booth tonight. The Caps did perform very well in their last game but managed to get a standings point in an overtime loss to the New York Islanders. Alexander Semin appears to be regaining his form from last year as he has goals in 3 straight games and points in 4 straight. Bruce Boudreau was named full Head Coach today; lifted from his “interim” status. Since taking over Boudreau is 7-5-3. Look for the Caps to come out extremely hard tonight and press the attack. The Caps need to start piling up the wins if they want to turn the season around and Tampa is a good team to start against. They are 4th in the Southeast Division and have had major goalie problems and may play rookie Karri Ramo in the net. I think the Caps have the edge in this one.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 TAM 3

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