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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