Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Game #52 Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadians

Where: Verizon Centre, Washington, DC

When: January 31, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 6-4-2-0
Caps Game 52 Record: 12-9-10-0
All-Time vs. MON: 47-65-17-1
Last Season vs. MON: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 1/29/08, WAS 0 MON 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 23-23-5
Standings Points: 51
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 1/29/08, WAS 0 MON 4
Streak: Loss 1

MON Record: 27-15-8
Standings Points: 62
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 4th
Last Game: 1/29/08, WAS 0 MON 4
Streak: Won 3

Game 1: 12/20/07, WAS 2 MON 5
Game 2: 1/5/08, WAS 5 MON 4
Game 3: 1/29/08, WAS 0 MON 4

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 15 GORDON, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 18 PETTINGER
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 3 POTI
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Montreal
Forward Line 1: 46 A. KOSTITSYN, 14 PLEKANEC, 27 KOVALEV
Forward Line 2: 21 HIGGINS, 11 KOIVU, 73 RYDER
Forward Line 3: 22 BEGIN 74, 20 SMOLINSKI, 84 LATENDRESSE
Forward Line 4: S. KOSTITSYN, 40 LAPIERRE, 6 KOSTOPOULOS
Defense Pair 1: 44 HAMRLIK, 8 KOMISAREK
Defense Pair 2: 79 MARKOV, 51 BOUILLON
Defense Pair 3: 32 STREIT, 26 GORGES
Goalie: 39 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 41 HALAK

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
Montreal – 3 O’BYRNE (broken thumb) IR, 71 BRISEBOIS (broken foot) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Viktor Kozlov needs 4 assists to reach 300 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 2 Points to reach 100 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 7 PIM’s to reach 2,400 for his career
Chris Clark needs 1 SOG to reach 800 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 1 SOG to reach 500 for his career
Alex Ovechkin needs 6 SOG to reach 1,100 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals were worked hard by Head Coach Bruce Boudreau after the 4-0 defeat at Montreal on Tuesday. A full speed, full contact scrimmage was conducted. The Caps cannot afford to take any games off as teams in 5th to 15th place are within 15 points of each other in the eastern conference standings. The Caps should be getting Shaone Morrisonn back for Thursday’s rematch with Montreal. This will help the defense who has had a lot of injuries lately. Look for the offense to come out hard and establish a lead. The Alexes need to get some points in this one. This should be a hard hitting game and have quite a bit of scoring.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 MON 4

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Game #51 Recap - Capitals 0 Canadians 4

The Capitals took one on the chin last night, losing to Montreal 4-0. They fired 35 at the Montreal net minder with nothing to show for it. On the other end Brent Johnson stopped 36 of 40 shots and the score could have been worse. The defensive corps is suffering as Brian Pothier and Shaone Morrisonn both did play due to injury. Montreal has the #1 ranked power play unit in the league and if you give them 6 chances they usually will get 2 goals. The Caps on the other hand were 0 for 2. The Caps need to figure out what they are going to do quickly as the two teams meet again tomorrow at Verizon Center.

Of Note:
  • John Erskine played in his 200th career NHL game. He celebrated by taking 3 minor penalties.
  • Viktor Kozlov played in his 800th career NHL game. He didn't celebrate much at all.
  • Alex Ovechkin had his 7-game scoring streak snapped, he had 4 shots on goal and 5 hits.
  • Nicklas Backstrom did extremely well in the face-off circle winning 13 and losing 7 draws.
  • Overall the Caps won 32 draws and lost 23. They were out shot 40 to 35.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Monday, January 28, 2008

Game #51 Washington Capitals at Montreal Canadians

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

When: January 29, 2008, 7:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 6-7-2-0
Caps Game 51 Record: 19-8-4-0
All-Time vs. MON: 47-64-17-1
Last Season vs. MON: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 1/5/08, WAS 5 MON 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 23-22-5
Standings Points: 51
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 1/24/07, WAS 2 TOR 1
Streak: Won 1

MON Record: 26-15-8
Standings Points: 60
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 4th
Last Game: 1/24/07, MON 4 NJ 3
Streak: Won 2

Game 1: 12/20/07, WAS 2 MON 5
Game 2: 1/5/08, WAS 5 MON 4

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 15 GORDON, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 18 PETTINGER
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 3 POTI
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Montreal
Forward Line 1: 46 A. KOSTITSYN, 14 PLEKANEC, 27 KOVALEV
Forward Line 2: 21 HIGGINS, 11 KOIVU, 73 RYDER
Forward Line 3: 22 BEGIN 74, 20 SMOLINSKI, 84 LATENDRESSE
Forward Line 4: S. KOSTITSYN, 40 LAPIERRE, 6 KOSTOPOULOS
Defense Pair 1: 44 HAMRLIK, 8 KOMISAREK
Defense Pair 2: 79 MARKOV, 51 BOUILLON
Defense Pair 3: 32 STREIT, 26 GORGES
Goalie: 39 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 41 HALAK

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
Montreal – 3 O’BYRNE (broken thumb) IR, 71 BRISEBOIS (broken foot) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Victor Kozlov needs to play 1 game for 800 in his career
John Erskine needs to play 1 game for 200 in his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 4 assists to reach 300 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 2 Points to reach 100 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 7 PIM’s to reach 2,400 for his career
Chris Clark needs 1 SOG to reach 800 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 3 SOG to reach 500 for his career
Alex Ovechkin needs 10 SOG to reach 1,100 for his career

Preview:
Watch out Montreal, Alex Ovechkin is heating up. He has 13 points in his last 7 games and is coming off of a 2 goal All-Star performance. To say he’s a little fired up would be a vast understatement. The Caps are going to need a strong final 32 games to put themselves in play-off position. They are currently 1 point out of the Southeast Division lead and 3 points out of the 8th and final playoff position. However, last place Tampa is only 6 points behind the Caps. With that there are 9 teams in the mix for the last spot. It will make for some very exciting hockey in the next two months. The Caps begin action in Montreal with the front end of another home and home series. The teams will meet again on the 31st in Washington. Look for the Caps to continue the offensive pressure to try and keep the pressure off of our defense and goaltenders. They need to stay out of the box as Montreal has scored 3 power play goals against the Caps in 2 games this year. I think they force the play come away with the victory in this one.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 MON 3

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Game #50 Recap - Capitals 2 Maple Leafs 1

The Capitals slow craw up the standings is continuing after a brief speed bump in Toronto. The Caps took the second game of the home-and-home series 2-1 at Verizon Center on Thursday. For those depressed, woe is me, Leafs fans they can always think of it as two overtime losses instead of a win and a loss, A Keki? The Caps on the other hand have not lost consecutive games since coach Boudreau took over on Thanksgiving and are 7-3-0 in their last ten. Most of the team will get a break for the All-Star weekend. Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom will be in Atlanta for the festivities. Following the break there are 32 games remaining on the schedule. From a statistical point of view, to reach the 92 point number that seems to be the magical playoff number the Caps need 41 points or win the Division outright. They are 1 point behind Carolina right now and have 14 games remaining in Division Play. From a fan's perspective they just need to keep playing as they have been the last month and the numbers will take care of themselves.

Of Note:
  • Brooks Laich and Steve Eminger played their 200th game as Capitals.
  • Alex Ovechkin assisted on both Capital's goals. He now has points in 7 straight games with 13 points over those games. He leads the NHL with 39 goals and is third in the League with 65 points.
  • Brent Johnson stopped 31 of 32 shots and was rewarded with the games #1 star.
  • The Capitals Offense has averaged 3.50 goals per game over the last ten games.
  • Viktor Kozlov registered the game-winning goal and has 5 goals in his last 4 games.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats



Thursday, January 24, 2008

Game #50 Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: January 24, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 3-9-2-0
Caps Game 50 Record: 12-15-4-0
All-Time vs. TOR: 50-46-10-2
Last Season vs. TOR: 2-2-0
Last Meeting: 1/23/07, WAS 2 TOR 3

This Year:
WAS Record: 22-22-5
Standings Points: 49
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 1/23/07, WAS 2 TOR 3
Streak: Loss 1

TOR Record: 20-22-8
Standings Points: 48
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 13th
Last Game: 1/23/07, WAS 2 TOR 3
Streak: Won1

Game 1: 10/29/07, WAS 7 TOR 1
Game 2: 1/23/07, WAS 2 TOR 3

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 15 GORDON, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 18 PETTINGER
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 3 POTI
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Toronto
Forward Line 1: 55 BLAKE, 13 SUDIN, 16 TUCKER
Forward Line 2: 23 PONIKAROVSKY, 80 ANTROPOV, 3 BELAK
Forward Line 3: 10 STEEN, 14 STAJAN, 22 DEVEREAUX
Forward Line 4: 18 KILGER, 42 WELLWOOD, 41 TLUSTY
Defense Pair 1: 15 KABERLE, 7 WHITE
Defense Pair 2: 25 GILL, 31 KUBINA
Defense Pair 3: 56 WOZNIEWSKI, 36 STRALMAN
Goalie: 35 TOSKALA
Back-up Goalie: 1 RAYCROFT

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
Toronto – 8 COLAIACOVO (knee) IR, 9 BELL (cracked orbital bone) IR, 24 MCCABE (hand fracture) IR

Caps Milestones:
Brooks Laich needs to play 1 game for 200 as a Capital
Steve Eminger needs to play 1 game for 200 in his career
Matt Pettinger needs 2 Points to reach 100 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 4 SOG to reach 500 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 7 PIM’s to reach 2,400 for his career
Chris Clark needs 1 SOG to reach 800 for his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 4 assists to reach 300 for his career

Preview:
Unfortunately, the Caps were beaten by a Pylon (Mats Sundin) last night snapping their 4-game winning streak with 29 second left in the third period. Fortunately, they have a chance to repay the favor with the second half of the home-and-home series tonight at Verzon Center. The Caps got goals from the Alexes last night but nowhere else. For the Caps to succeed they need that secondary scoring from the 3rd and 4th lines. Look for the Caps to come out fast and try to put a lead on the board early. This should be a physical affair and have much more scoring than last night.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 6 TOR 4

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Game #49 Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs

Where: Air Canada Center, Toronto, Ontario

When: January 23, 2008, 7:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 7-7-1-0
Caps Game 49 Record: 16-14-1-0
All-Time vs. TOR: 50-45-10-2
Last Season vs. TOR: 2-2-0
Last Meeting: 10/29/07, WAS 7 TOR 1

This Year:
WAS Record: 22-21-5
Standings Points: 49
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 1/21/2008, WAS 6 PIT 5 (OT-SO)
Streak: Won 4

TOR Record: 19-22-8
Standings Points:
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 5th
Last Game: 1/20/2008, TOR 2 NJ 3
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 15 GORDON, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 18 PETTINGER
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 3 POTI
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Toronto
Forward Line 1: 55 BLAKE, 13 SUDIN, 16 TUCKER
Forward Line 2: 23 PONIKAROVSKY, 80 ANTROPOV, 3 BELAK
Forward Line 3: 10 STEEN, 14 STAJAN, 22 DEVEREAUX
Forward Line 4: 18 KILGER, 42 WELLWOOD, 41 TLUSTY
Defense Pair 1: 15 KABERLE, 7 WHITE
Defense Pair 2: 25 GILL, 31 KUBINA
Defense Pair 3: 56 WOZNIEWSKI, 36 STRALMAN
Goalie: 35 TOSKALA
Back-up Goalie: 1 RAYCROFT

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 26 MORRISONN (leg) DTD
Toronto – 8 COLAIACOVO (knee) IR, 9 BELL (cracked orbital bone) IR, 24 MCCABE (hand fracture) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Pettinger needs 2 Points to reach 100 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 4 SOG to reach 500 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 7 PIM’s to reach 2,400 for his career
Chris Clark needs 1 SOG to reach 800 for his career
Boyd Gordon needs 2 SOG to reach 200 for his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 5 assists to reach 300 for his career

Preview:
The Caps start a two day home and home series in Toronto tonight against the struggling Maple Leafs. The Caps are fresh off of their exciting shootout victory at Pittsburgh two days ago where the Caps were able to climb 1-game over .500 and move into 2nd place in the Southeast Division. The last time these two teams met they were headed in opposite directions but the Caps put a 7 spot on the Leafs. This will be the Cap’s 6th game in 12 days and they have gone 5-1-0 in those games and have a 4-game winning streak. The team has definitely made a turnaround even without the likes of Chris Clark, Michal Nylander, Brian Pothier, and last night Shaone Morrisonn. The Caps young gunners have been getting it done on offense with Alex Ovechkin leading the way with an NHL leading 38 goals. Nicklas Backstrom has been unbelievable with two consecutive 4-assist nights, and Alexander Semin is on a 5-game point streak and had Monday’s shootout game winner. Look for the Caps to continue their offensive assault as the defense is trying to heal. It’s been rough going for the goalies but as they say, “Winning is the ultimate cure all.”

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 TOR 3

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Game #48 Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins

Where: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA

When: January 21, 2008, 7:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 5-6-1-0
Caps Game 48 Record: 15-15-2-0
All-Time vs. PIT: 75-85-16-3
Last Season vs. PIT: 0-3-1
Last Meeting: 12/27/07, WAS 3 PIT 4 (OT)

This Year:
WAS Record: 21-21-5
Standings Points: 47
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 1/19/2008, WAS 5 FLA 3
Streak: Won 3

PIT Record: 27-17-3
Standings Points: 57
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 5th
Last Game: 1/19/2008, PIT 2 MON 0
Streak: Won 1

Game 1: 10/20/07, WAS 1 PIT 2
Game 2: 12/27/07, WAS 3 PIT 4 (OT)

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 15 GORDON, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 18 PETTINGER
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 3 POTI
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Pittsburgh
Forward Line 1: 12 MALONE, 71 MALKIN, 20 ARMSTRONG
Forward Line 2: 37 RUUTU, 87 CROSBY, 17 SYKORA
Forward Line 3: 38 TAFFE, 11 STAAL, 27 LARAQUE
Forward Line 4: 39 MINARD, 48 KENNEDY, 18 HALL
Defense Pair 1: 55 GONCHAR, 19 WHITNEY
Defense Pair 2: 4 SCUDERI, 44 ORPIK
Defense Pair 3: 5 SYDOR, 58 LETANG
Goalie: 35 CONKLIN
Back-up Goalie: 30 SABOURIN

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 2 POTHIER (head) DTD
Pittsburgh – 3 EATON (knee) DTD, 25 TALBOT (ankle) IR, 29 FLEURY (ankle) IR, 87 CROSBY (ankle) DTD, 10 ROBERTS (leg fracture) IR, 20 ARMSTRONG (hip) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Matt Pettinger needs 3 Points to reach 100 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 5 SOG to reach 500 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 7 PIM’s to reach 2,400 for his career
Chris Clark needs 1 SOG to reach 800 for his career
Boyd Gordon needs 3 SOG to reach 200 for his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 5 assists to reach 300 for his career

Preview:
The Caps travel to Pittsburgh to play the Crosbyless Penguins Monday evening. Crosby was injured last Friday and will not participate in the contest. The Pens are tied for first in the Atlantic Division. The Caps have not had good results against the Atlantic this season posting a 4-7-2 record in 13 games. For the Caps to win they will have to solve goaltender Ty Conklin who, as of late, has been playing lights out. Look for the Caps to keep the pressure on the Pens and try to play most of the game in the Pittsburgh end of the ice. The Penguins have had quite a few injuries lately so watch for them to simplify their game. I wouldn’t expect a very high scoring game, but it will be physical. I think the Caps finally pull one out on the Pens.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 PIT 1


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Friday, January 18, 2008

Game #47 Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: January 19, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 8-5-1-0
Caps Game 47 Record: 15-13-4-0
All-Time vs. FLA: 33-28-9-5
Last Season vs. FLA: 3-3-2
Last Meeting: 12/1/07, WAS 2 FLA 1

This Year:
WAS Record: 19-21-5
Standings Points: 43
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 1/17/2008, WAS 5 EDM 4 (OT-SO)
Streak: Won 2

FLA Record: 20-23-4
Standings Points: 44
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 13th
Last Game: 1/16/2008, FLA 3 PHI 5
Streak: Loss 3

Game 1: 11/15/07, WAS 1 FLA 2
Game 2: 11/19/07, WAS 3 FLA 4
Game 3: 11/28/07, WAS 1 FLA 2 (OT-SO)
Game 4: 12/01/07, WAS 2 FLA 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 15 GORDON, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 18 PETTINGER
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 3 POTI
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Florida
Forward Line 1: 10 BOOTH, 12 JOKINEN, 16 HORTON
Forward Line 2: 85 OLESZ, 9 WEISS, 14 DVORAK
Forward Line 3: 20 ZEDNIK, 53 MCLEAN, 57 STEWART
Forward Line 4: 37 GLASS, 54 KREPS, 11 CAMPBELL
Defense Pair 1: 4 BOUWMEESTAR, 24 SALEI
Defense Pair 2: 5 ALLEN, 22 CULLIMORE
Defense Pair 3: 6 JOHANSSON, 7 MONTADOR
Goalie: 29 VOKOUN
Back-up Goalie: 31 ANDERSON

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 2 POTHIER (head) DTD
Florida – 27 WELCH (shoulder) IR, 15 STUMPEL (shoulder) IR, 85 OLESZ (hand) DTD, 18 PELTONEN (foot fracture) IR, 17 MURRAY (shoulder) IR, 26 VAN RYN (wrist)

Caps Milestones:
Matt Pettinger needs 3 Points to reach 100 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 6 SOG to reach 500 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 9 PIM’s to reach 2,400 for his career
Chris Clark needs 1 SOG to reach 800 for his career
Boyd Gordon needs 3 SOG to reach 200 for his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 5 assists to reach 300 for his career

Preview:
The Caps put on a good show against the Oil now it’s time to take it up a notch against the Southeastern Division. The Caps welcome Florida into Verizon Center on Saturday and look to keep ahead of the Panthers. The Caps are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and have moved into 3rd place in the SE Division. Look for them to bury the Panthers and break out of the one goal game pattern.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 7 FLA 2



Thursday, January 17, 2008

Game #46 Washington Capitals vs. Edmonton Oilers

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: January 17, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 7-6-1-1
Caps Game 46 Record: 14-17-0-1
All-Time vs. EDM: 28-25-6-0
Last Season vs. EDM: 0-1-0
Last Meeting: 10/28/06, WAS 0 EDM 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 19-21-5
Standings Points: 43
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 13th
Last Game: 1/15/2008, WAS 4 OTT 2
Streak: Won 1

EDM Record: 21-22-4
Standings Points: 46
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 14th
Last Game: 1/15/2008, EDM 1 LA 3
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 15 GORDON, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 18 PETTINGER
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 3 POTI
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Edmonton
Forward Line 1: 27 PENNER, 10 HORCOFF, 83 HEMSKY
Forward Line 2: 18 MOREAU, 19 REASONER, 34 PISANI
Forward Line 3: 12 NILSSON, 13 COGLIANO, 46 STORTINI
Forward Line 4: 8 SANDERSON, 51 BRODZIAK, 16 STOLL
Defense Pair 1: 24 STAIOS, 77 GILBERT
Defense Pair 2: 25 PITKANEN, 23 TARNSTROM
Defense Pair 3: 44 SOURAY, 5 SMID
Goalie: 32 GARON
Back-up Goalie: 35 ROLOSON

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 2 POTHIER (head) DTD
Edmonton – 14 TORRES (knee) IR, 2 GREENE (leg fracture) IR, 66 SPURGEON (undisclosed) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Pettinger needs 3 Points to reach 100 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 6 SOG to reach 500 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 9 PIM’s to reach 2,400 for his career
Chris Clark needs 1 SOG to reach 800 for his career
Boyd Gordon needs 3 SOG to reach 200 for his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 5 assists to reach 300 for his career

Preview:
Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe was upset by the news that Alex Ovechkin had sealed his deal with the Caps, there is no doubt in my mind he had a huge offer for Alex on the restricted free agent market. Oh well, nobody wants to live in Edmonton anyway. Look for this game to be fast paced and spirited as both teams are young and trying to get into the playoff picture. The Caps need to attack the Edmonton defense, force turnovers, and get the lead early. Watch for Alexander Semin in this game it could be a breakout for him. I think the Caps even without Nylander and Clark have too much firepower in this one.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 EDM 2

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Game #45 Recap - Capitals 4 Senators 2

The Senators are sure glad they have no more games scheduled against the Caps this year. Washington swept the season series against the Sens with a 4-2 victory at Verizon Center last night. The Caps took the lead early in the second period with a power play goal from Mike Green. Green came in on the back door and deposited a beautiful pass from Viktor Kozlov. The Senators then tied the game and took the lead 2-1 at the 15:03 mark of the second period. 23 seconds later Alexander Semin stole a pass at the Ottawa blue line, absolutely undressed an Ottawa defensemen, and made Ray Emery look like a rented goalie (to steal a phrase). Now that is the Alexander Semin we all remember from last year. When Bruce Boudreau took over he said as goes Semin so goes the Caps. So it is good to see Semin starting to get his legs back under him. Alex Ovechkin converted a long rebound into a power play goal and Semin sealed the victory with his second goal of the game. The Caps are now within 2 games of .500 and are currently 1 standings point behind Florida and Buffalo.

Of Note:
  • Michal Nylander is scheduled for shoulder surgery today and is expected to miss 3 to 6 months.
  • Brent Johnson played well in his first start since coming back from a knee injury. He stopped 26 of 28 shots.
  • Brooks Laich had 2 shots on goal giving him 300 for his career. It was his rebound that Ovechkin score his 34th goal of the season.
  • Tomas Fleichmann recorded 2 assists including his first ever on an Ovechkin score.
  • Semin not only had two goals but recorded and assist on Green's score as well.
  • Ovechkin was credited with his 5th Game Winning Goal of the season. He has 18 in his career.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Monday, January 14, 2008

Game #45 Washington Capitals vs. Ottawa Senators

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: January 15, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 4-9-0-1
Caps Game 45 Record: 13-13-5-1
All-Time vs. OTT: 27-26-5-0
Last Season vs. OTT: 2-2-0
Last Meeting: 1/1/08, WAS 6 OTT 3

This Year:
WAS Record: 18-21-5
Standings Points: 41
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 13th
Last Game: 1/13/2008, WAS 4 PHI 6
Streak: Loss 1

OTT Record: 29-11-4
Standings Points: 62
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st
Last Game: 1/13/2008, OTT 1 NYI 3
Streak: Loss 1

Game 1, 11/8/07: WAS 4 OTT 1
Game 2, 12/29/07, WAS 8 OTT 6
Game 3, 1/1/08, WAS 6 OTT 3

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 92 NYLANDER, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 15 GORDON
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 3 POTI
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Ottawa
Forward Line 1: 15 HEATLEY, 12 FISHER, 11 ALFRESSON
Forward Line 2: 20 VERMETTE, 19 SPEZZA, 25 NEIL
Forward Line 3: 37 MCAMMOND, 22 KELLY, 10 DONOVAN
Forward Line 4: BASS, 27 ROBITAILLE, 16 MCGRATTAN
Defense Pair 1: 4 PHILLIPS, 24 VOLCHENKOV
Defense Pair 2: 6 REDDEN, 7 CORVO
Defense Pair 3: 5 SCHUBERT, 14 MESZAROS
Goalie: 29 GERBER
Back-up Goalie: 1 EMERY

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 2 POTHIER (head) DTD
Ottawa – 44 EAVES (shoulder) IR, 15 HEATLEY (shoulder) DTD, 19 SPEZZA (undisclosed) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Matt Pettinger needs 3 Points to reach 100 for his career
Alexander Semin needs 5 Shots on Goal to reach 400 for his career
Michal Nylander needs 5 Points to reach 100 as a Capital
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 9 PIM’s to reach 2,400 for his career
Chris Clark needs 1 SOG to reach 800 for his career
Brooks Laich needs 2 SOG to reach 300 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals will face the Ottawa Senators for the last in the regular season tomorrow. The Caps have beaten the 1st place Sens each of the three times they have played. For the Caps to continue to advance up the Eastern Conference Standings they will need another good outing against the Senators. Look for the team to push the puck up and use the forecheck. Mistakes in their own zone have been hurting the Caps lately. They need to simplify their zone exit and not try to be too pretty with their passing. For some reason the Caps have the Sens number this season, I don’t see anything to change that trend. It will be another high scoring game with the Caps coming out on top.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 6 OTT 4


Game #44 Recap - Capitals 4 Flyers 6

The Caps just couldn't come all the way back in this one. One to many mistakes in their own zone cost the team. After the game Coach Boudreau would say, "There was a lot of try there, but we made too many mistakes. We talk about it, we look at it, we work on it. In our zone, we talk about turnovers. I think they got every goal off turnovers." After taking a 1-0 lead in the first the Caps allowed 4 consecutive goals to the visitors. At this point, he Caps lifted Olie Kolzig in favor of Brent Johnson. The team came back with 2 straight goals but it was not enough as the teams traded goals, and Philly ended it with an empty netter. The Caps have little time to think about this one as Ottawa is at the Verizon Center tomorrow.

Of Note:
  • Olie Kolzig played his 693rd game as a Capital tying him with Steve Konowalchuk for 8th place on the All-Time Games Played List.
  • Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Alex Ovechkin, and Michal Nylander scored goals for the Caps. For Nylander it was NHL career goal #200.
  • The Caps and Flyers matched each other in shots with 32 a piece. Alexander Semin had 4 shots on net surpassing the 500 shot mark for his career.
  • The Caps controled the face-off circle 31-24 with David Steckel leading the way with 8 wins to 2 losses.
  • Green, Ovechkin, and Nylander each had 1 goal and 1 assist in the game.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Thursday, January 10, 2008

13 More Years of Alex Ovechkin!!!!


Put the rumors to bed, the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin will be together for a long, long time. According to the reports Alex and the Capitals agreed upon a 13-year $124 million contract. If he were to be healthy for the length of the contract it would be 1,066 regular season games. Now all you Caps fans fretting over Alex's contract status can relax and get back to whats important, supporting the team. According to Alex,"Hockey is my life," he said, shrugging, "and money is money. ... If you think about money, you stop playing hockey." That is great to hear. You've got to love this guy.

Official Press Release

Game #43 Recap - Capitals 2 Avalanche 1

Sorry Lindsey, the Caps were more than Colorado could bear last night. In a defensive battle the Caps defeated the Av's 2-1 with all the goals scored in the third period. For the Capitals, the third and fourth lines came through as the top lines were held in check. Donald Brashear and David Steckel scored for Washington. Ollie Kolzig played well in goal allowing only 1 goal on 19 shots. The Caps are 5-2-3 in their last 10 games and with last nights victory they moved 1 point ahead of Toronto in the Eastern Conference standings. The Caps are slowly moving back into the play-off picture and are starting to gain momentum. Now they get a 4 day break before a stretch of 7 games in 11 nights. Get some rest boys and keep up the good effort.

Of Note:
  • The victory was the Caps 10th straight in games played on Jan. 9th. The last defeat coming in 1986.
  • Assisting last night were Brooks Laich, Boyd Gordon, Milan Jurcina, and Matt Bradley.
  • The Caps out shot Colorado 23-19 and out drew them in the face-off dot 34-24.
  • For his effort Kolzig was named 3rd Star of the night by the NHL.
  • Steve Eminger had a good outing. He had 4 hits, 1 blocked shot and a +1 rating in 10:13 of icetime.
  • Laich and Quintin Laing blocked 3 shots a piece and the Caps blocked 18 shots overall.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Game #43 Washington Capitals vs. Colorado Avalanche

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: January 9, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 10-4-0-0
Caps Game 43 Record: 13-14-5-0
All-Time vs. COL: 7-6-2-1
Last Season vs. COL: 1-0-0
Last Meeting: 10/25/06, WAS 5 COL 3

This Year:
WAS Record: 17-20-5
Standings Points: 39
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 14th
Last Game: 1/5/2008, WAS 5 MON 4 (OT)
Streak: Won 1

COL Record: 22-16-3
Standings Points: 47
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 8th
Last Game: 1/8/2008, COL 0 DET 1
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 43 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 15 GORDON
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 35 CASSIVI

Colorado
Forward Line 1: 8 WOLSKI, 26 STASTNY, 23 HEJDUK
Forward Line 2: 17 HLINKA, 11 MCCORMICK, 14 LAPERRIERE
Forward Line 3: 15 BRUNETTE, 37 HENSICK, 28 GUITE
Forward Line 4: 55 MCLEOD, 27 PARKER, 40 SVATOS
Defense Pair 1: 22 HANNAN, 3 SKRASTINS
Defense Pair 2: 4 LILES, 5 CLARK
Defense Pair 3: 6 FINGER, 44 LEOPOLD
Goalie: 31 BUDAJ
Back-up Goalie: 60 THEODORE

Injuries:
Washington – 14 FEHR (hip) IR, 17 CLARK (groin) IR, 1 JOHNSON (knee) IR, 3 POTI (upper body) DTD, 2 POTHIER (head) DTD
Colorado – 11 MCCOMICK (hip) DTD, 94 SMYTH (ankle fracture) IR, 39 ARNASON (wrist) IR, 34 SAUER (neck) IR, 19 SAKIC (hernia)

Caps Milestones:
Matt Pettinger needs 3 Points to reach 100 for his career
Alexander Semin needs 5 Shots on Goal to reach 400 for his career
Michal Nylander needs 1 Goal to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 3 Points to reach 200 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals start a long home stand with the Colorado Avalanche who are coming off of a 1-0 defeat at Detroit. The Caps need to continue their aggressive play and force the attack on the Avs who like the Caps have suffered numerous injuries as of late. Look for the Caps fist line to garner a lot of attention from the visitors as Alex Ovechkin is on one of his point binges with 14 points in his last 9 games. The other lines will have to contribute to take give #8 some running room. This one should be close, but the Caps should pull it out.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 COL 2

Official Preview

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Washington Capitals Coaching Comparison

Just the facts. A comparison of the Capitals first 21 games vs their second 21 games:

Games

1 to 21

22 to 42

Difference

Wins

6

11

5

Losses

14

6

-8

OT Losses

1

4

3

Shootout Win

0

0

0

Shootout Loss

0

2

2

Standings Points

13

26

13

Goals For

47

70

23

Goals Against

64

67

3

Shots on Goal

612

631

19

Shooting %

8.0%

11.5%

3.5%

PP Goals For

14

16

2

PP Chances

95

85

-10

PP %

14.74%

18.82%

4.09%

PK Goals Against

22

13

-9

PK Chances

101

83

-18

PK %

78.22%

84.34%

6.12%

Hits

404

385

-19

Giveaways

200

223

23

Takeaways

158

162

4

Blocked Shots

223

259

36

Shot Attempts Blocked

348

279

-69

Missed Shots

246

253

7

Face-offs Won

590

598

8

Face-offs Lost

567

626

59

Face-off %

50.99%

48.86%

-2.14%

Penalties

122

97

-25

PIM

282

234

-48

Shots Against

607

552

-55

Saves

545

488

-57

Save %

89.1%

87.7%

-1.4%

Goals Against

62

64

2

Goals Against Average

2.99

3.02

0.03

Empty Net Goals Against

2

1

-1

Shut Outs

1

0

-1

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