Friday, February 29, 2008

Game #65 Recap - Capitals 4 Devils 0

The debut of the newest Capitals couldn't have gone any better. Cristobal Huet shutout the #1 team in the Eastern Conference and Sergei Fedorov used a no look behind the back pass to set up the game winning goal. What else could you ask for? Well one thing but, unfortunately, Alex Ovechkin didn't score for the seventh consecutive game. I not sure he cares too much as the Caps dominated the Devils especially when it mattered. The Caps held the Devils to just 2 shots on goal in the third period. Huet was perfect in the net and made the tough stops when needed including a one-on-one breakaway in the second period with the Caps only up by one. The final touch was put on when Donald Brashear fired the puck past Martin Brodeur
for his 199th career point. The Caps are now within 3 points of division leading Carolina and play Toronto at home tomorrow.

Of Note:
  • The Capitals were 2 for 3 on the power play getting the game winner from Mike Green and another from Alexander Semin with the man advantage. The Caps killed off all three New Jersey power plays.
  • Semin, Tom Poti, and Nicklas Backstrom recorded two points each for the Caps. Six other Caps recorded single points in the game.
  • Alex Ovechkin recorded an assist on Victor Kozlov's goal it was Ovechkin's 83rd point of the year and Kozlov's 40th.
  • In addition to his assist, Fedorov was masterful in the face-off circle winning 10 of 13 draws. The Caps out drew the Devils 27-20 overall and out shot them 29-18.
  • The Caps remain unbeaten in games played on Leap Day with 2 wins and 2 ties.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Game #65 Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils

Where: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

When: February 29, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 1-0-2-0
Caps Game 65 Record: 10-15-5-1
All-Time vs. NJ: 69-55-8-6
Last Season vs. NJ: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 10/12/06, WAS 2 MIN 3 (OT-SO)

This Year:
WAS Record: 29-27-8
Standings Points: 66
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 2/26/08, WAS 4 MIN 1
Streak: Won 1

NJ Record: 37-21-6
Standings Points: 80
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st
Last Game: 2/26/08, NJ 1 CAR 2 (OT)
Streak: Loss 1

Game 1: 12/7/07, WAS 2 NJ 3
Game 2: 12/12/07, WAS 3 NJ 2
Game 3: 2/24/08, WAS 1 NJ 2 (OT)

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 91 FEDOROV, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 21 LAICH
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 4 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 55 SCHULTZ, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG, 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

New Jersey
Forward Line 1: 20 PANDOLFO, 11 MADDEN, 14 GIONTA
Forward Line 2: 9 PARISE, 19 ZAJAC, 15 LANGENBRUNNER
Forward Line 3: 26 ELIAS, 16 ZUBRUS, 23 CLARKSON
Forward Line 4: 17 RUPP, 18 BRYLIN, 22 ASHAM
Defense Pair 1: 7 MARTIN, 27 MOTTAU
Defense Pair 2: 8 BROOKBANK, 29 ODUYA
Defense Pair 3: 6 GREENE, 5 WHITE
Goalie: 30 BRODEUR
Back-up Goalie: 1 WEEKES

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
New Jersey – None

Caps Milestones:
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Tom Poti needs 8 Shots on Goal to reach 1,100 for his career
Alex Ovechkin needs 2 Goals to reach 50 for this season

Preview:
The Capitals will show off at least one of their trade deadline pickups in New Jersey as Sergei Fedorov makes his Capital debut against the Devils. The Caps went all out to address current needs to make a final push to the playoffs. With Michal Nylander out for the rest of the season the Capitals are hopeful that Fedorov, a 3 time Cup winner and Hart Trophy winner, will stabilize the center position of the top two lines. My guess is that Viktor Kozlov will move back to the wing alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom and Fedorov will center between Alexander Semin and Tomas Fleischmann. Fedorov’s smarts and defensive savvy will be a big help to this young line. The big question will be who will be between the pipes as newcomer Cristobal Huet has the best numbers of the 3 Capitals goalies but Olie Kolzig is coming off an impressive 34 save night against Minnesota on Tuesday. You can count on the Caps coming out with enthusiasm as the players really feel that these additions will help the team in their playoff run. With 35 of their games being decided by 1 goal the Caps are nearly at the point of being a true contender. They face a New Jersey team that defeated the Caps last Sunday 2-1 in overtime but I have a feeling the Caps are really going to start putting some points on the board.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 NJ 2

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Game #64 Recap - Capitals 4 Wild 1

There was excitement around Washington Capitals Hockey yesterday. Management cemented its position of wanting to make the playoffs this year by trading for Cristobal Huet, Sergei Fedorov and Matt Cooke. The teams came out fired up and took it to the Western Conference's 6th place team. The Caps got the secondary scoring it was sorely missing the last couple of week. Brooks Liach, who has been playing very well of late, put up a 4-point night. The Caps big line was not given any room to run and the line of Laich, Tomas Fleischmann, and Eric Fehr took advantage. The Caps also took care of their own. After Chris Bourque was driven into boards from behind, David Steckel immediately came to his aid and fought Aaron Voros of the Wild. Later in the game Matt Bradley would fight Voros again for good measure. Olie Kolzig allowed only 1 goal on 35 shots and that was a deflected puck. The Caps need to keep up the intensity as Carolina won in overtime against New Jersey.

Of Note:
  • Brooks Laich was the #1 Star of the game scoring the first Caps goal, assisting on the next 2, then scoring the final goal in route to a 4-point night. Laich now has 13 goals and 10 assists on the season.
  • Tomas Fleischmann assisted on both Laich goals and now has 19 assists and 27 points on the season.
  • Alex Ovechkin has not scored a goal in 6 consecutive games matching the longest stretch in his career.
  • David Steckel was masterful in the face-off circle winning 8 of 9 draws.
  • The win was the 298th in Olie Kolzig's career.
  • Eric Fehr and Shaone Morrisonn each scored their first goal of the season. For Morrisonn it was his first Game-Winning-Goal in his career.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Capitals Trade Matt Pettinger to Vancouver for Matt Cooke

The Capitals have traded forward Matt Pettinger to Vancouver for forward Matt Cooke. Cooke has played 61 games this year recording 7 goals and 9 assists for 16 points. Pettinger has under performed this season with only 7 points and a change of venue may be a good thing for him. Cooke has played his entire career in Vancouver. The Bellville, Ontario native was drafted in the 6th round in 1997.

Matt Cooke Career Stats:
566 Games Played
83 Goals
120 Assists
203 Points
+14 +/- Rating
625 Penalty Minutes
4 Power Play Goals
7 Power Play Assists
8 Shorthanded Goals
13 Game-Winning-Goals
769 Shots on Goal



Capitals Trade For Sergei Fedorov

The Capitals pick up Sergei Fedorov in a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets for prospect Theo Ruth. The 38 year old Russian is in the final year of his contract and should help shore up an injury depleted Capitals defense corps. Fedorov started his career in Detroit and played with Anaheim before being traded to the Blue Jackets in 2006. He has 9 goals and 19 assists for 28 points this year. Fedorov has played both forward and defense in his career.

Career Stats:
1178 Games Played
470 Goals
663 Assists
1133 Points
+259 +/- Rating
781 Penalty Minutes
141 Power Play Goals
238 Power Play Assists
36 Shorthanded Goals
90 Game-Winning-Goals
3833 Shots on Goal


Capitals Trade 2009 2nd Round Pick for G Cristobal Huet

According to TSN, the Capitals have acquired goaltender Cristobal Huet from the Montreal Canadians for a 2009 2nd Draft Pick. Huet was drafted in 2001 by the Los Angeles and was traded to Montreal in 2004. This season he is 21-12-6 with a 2.56 GAA and a .916 save percentage. He is 32 years old and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

Career Stats:
170 Games Played
72 Wins
59 Losses
11 Ties
13 Overtime Losses
2.49 GAA
.917 Save %
15 Shut Outs



Game #64 Washington Capitals Vs. Minnesota Wild

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: February 26, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 8-5-1-0
Caps Game 64 Record: 15-11-3-2
All-Time vs. MIN: 69-55-8-5
Last Season vs. MIN: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 10/12/06, WAS 2 MIN 3 (OT-SO)

This Year:
WAS Record: 28-27-8
Standings Points: 64
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 2/24/08, WAS 1 NJ 2 (OT)
Streak: Loss 3

MIN Record: 34-23-5
Standings Points: 73
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 6th
Last Game: 2/23/08, NJ 4 NYI 2
Streak: Loss 3

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 25 KOZLOV, 18 PETTINGER
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 21 LAICH
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 4 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Minnesota
Forward Line 1: 38 DEMITRA, 9 KOIVU, 10 GABORIK
Forward Line 2: 12 ROLSTON, 25 BELANGER, 96 BOUCHARD
Forward Line 3: 19 VEILLEUX, 15 SHEPPARD, 92 RADIVOJEVIC
Forward Line 4: 17 FEDORUK, 83 FOY, 21 PARRISH
Defense Pair 1: 5 JOHNSSON, 8 BURNS
Defense Pair 2: 41 SKOULA, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 3: 26 FOSTER, 6 HILL
Goalie: 32 BACKSTROM
Back-up Goalie: 29 HARDING

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 55 SCHULTZ (knee) DTD
Minnesota – 24 BOOGAARD (back) IR

Caps Milestones:
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 1 Point to reach 100 for his career
Tom Poti needs 9 Shots on Goal to reach 1,100 for his career
Alex Ovechkin needs 2 Goals to reach 50 for this season

Preview:
The Caps take on the Minnesota Wild this evening in a contrast of styles. The Wild are a defensive team first and have scored just 167 goals this season for an average of 2.69 goals per game. On the flip side they have only given up 165 goals for a 2.66 goals against per game average. The Caps have their work cut out for them, they need to score and they have not done that well in their last couple of games. No scoring has come from the 3rd and 4th lines and they have given up leads late in games. The Caps are need of a run of wins if they want to get into the playoff picture. No better place to start than right here.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 MIN 1

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Game #62 Recap - Capitals 1 Devils 2 (OT)

The Capitals had one tough weekend. After taking a 6-3 pounding by Carolina on Saturday, the team lost to New Jersey with 10-seconds left in overtime. In the two games the Caps hit no fewer than 4 goal posts and just can't seem to find the twine on a consistent basis. Over the past 11 games the Caps are averaging 2.73 goals per game while averaging 33.45 shots-on-goal over those same games. With Alex Ovechkin not having a goal in 5 games, Alexander Semin is the only one has picked up the slack with goals in 5 straight. The Caps have got to get more scoring from their lines not containing an Alex as they have another tough game on Tuesday with Minnesota. They are currently 5 points behind Carolina for the SE Division lead and 3 teams and 4 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot with 19 games left to play.

Of Note:
  • With 4 assists this weekend, Ovechkin moved past Ryan Walter into 12th place on the Capitals All-Time Scoring List with 280 points.
  • Alexander Semin's five game goal scoring streak has moved him by Joe Juneau, Keith Jones, and Gerry Meehan into 35th on the Capitals All-Time Goals list with 67.
  • The Caps out shot the Devils 38 to 31 but managed only 1 goal.
  • Donald Brashear had fights in each game this weekend. In Carolina he fought Wade Brookbank and against New Jersey he fought Wade's brother Sheldon. Brashear leads the Caps with 94 penalty minutes on the year.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats



Sunday, February 24, 2008

Game #63 Wshington Capitals vs. New Jersey Devils

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: February 24, 2008, 3:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 6-4-4-0
Caps Game 63 Record: 12-15-3-1
All-Time vs. NJ: 69-55-8-5
Last Season vs. NJ: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 12/12/07, WAS 3 NJ 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 28-27-7
Standings Points: 63
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 2/23/08, WAS 3 CAR 6
Streak: Loss 2

NJ Record: 36-21-5
Standings Points: 77
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd
Last Game: 2/23/08, NJ 4 NYI 2
Streak: Won 4

Game 1: 12/7/07, WAS 2 NJ 3
Game 2: 12/12/07, WAS 3 NJ 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 25 KOZLOV, 18 PETTINGER
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 21 LAICH
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 4 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

New Jersey
Forward Line 1: 20 PANDOLFO, 11 MADDEN, 14 GIONTA
Forward Line 2: 26 ELIAS, 16 ZUBRUS, 15 LANGENBRUNNER
Forward Line 3: 9 PARISE, 18 BRYLIN, 23 CLARKSON
Forward Line 4: 17 RUPP, 19 ZAJAC, 22 ASHAM
Defense Pair 1: 6 GREENE, 8 BROOKBANK
Defense Pair 2: 7 MARTIN, 27 MOTTAU
Defense Pair 3: 29 ODUYA, 5 WHITE
Goalie: 30 BRODEUR
Back-up Goalie: 1 WEEKES

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 55 SCHULTZ (knee) DTD
New Jersey – 25 JANSSEN (shoulder) IR

Caps Milestones:
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 1 Point to reach 100 for his career
Tom Poti needs 12 Shots on Goal to reach 1,100 for his career

Preview:
The Caps took it on the chin last night falling to Carolina 6-3. The Caps gave up 4 power play goals and are now 6 points out of the SE Division lead and 5 points out of the final playoff spot. Simply put the Caps need to win. There are 20 games remaining and if they don’t put a run together they are going to be on the golf course on April 6th. They have a tough test today in the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have won 4 straight and are 1 point out of the Eastern Conference lead. Look for the Caps to come out strong early and try to get last night’s taste out of their mouths. This should be a very physical game with the Caps getting close to desperation mode. I am hoping for the best but fearing for the worst.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 NJ 1

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Game #62 Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes

Where: RBC Center, Raleigh, NC

When: February 23, 2008, 5:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 5-6-2-0
Caps Game 62 Record: 12-15-3-1
All-Time vs. CAR: 28-18-7-3
Last Season vs. CAR: 3-5-0
Last Meeting: 2/8/08, WAS 1 CAR 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 28-26-7
Standings Points: 63
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 2/20/08, WAS 2 NYI 3 (OT-SO)
Streak: Loss 1

CAR Record: 31-28-5
Standings Points: 67
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 2/21/08, CAR 5 ATL 3
Streak: Won 1

Game 1: 10/6/07, WAS 2 CAR 0
Game 2: 11/5/06, WAS 0 CAR 5
Game 3: 11/24/07, WAS 5 CAR 2
Game 4: 11/30/07, WAS 3 CAR 4
Game 5: 2/8/08, WAS 1 CAR 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

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

Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Carolina
Forward Line 1: 14 SAMSONOV, 12 STAAL, 24 WALKER
Forward Line 2: 13 WHITNEY, 8 CULLEN, 26 COLE
Forward Line 3: 16 LADD, 51 HAMILTON, 19 LETOWSKI
Forward Line 4: 18 BAYDA, 28 BROOKBANK, 37 AUCOIN
Defense Pair 1: 42 GLEASON, 6 HEDICAN
Defense Pair 2: 7 WALLIN, 77 CORVO
Defense Pair 3: 5 KABERLE, 2 WESLEY
Goalie: 30 WARD
Back-up Goalie: 47 GRAHME

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
Carolina – 11 WILLIAMS (knee) IR, 45 TANABE (concussion) IR, 59 LAROSE (broken leg) IR, 17 BRIND’AMOUR (knee) IR, 44 EAVES (neck/shoulder) IR, 4 SEIDENBERG (ankle) IR

Caps Milestones:
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 1 Point to reach 100 for his career
Tom Poti needs 13 Shots On Goal to reach 1,100 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals take on the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh in a huge battle for control of the Southeast Division. Carolina currently sits in first place but the Capitals have three games in hand and trail the Canes by 4 points. A must win for the Caps who need to put a run on if the plan to play past April 5th. The Caps have been playing the competition incredibly close with 12 of their last 16 games being decided by a single goal. Look for Alex Ovechkin to come out strong against the Canes as he has been held off the scoreboard for three consecutive games, the only time this has happen this season. Alexander Semin is riding a three game goal scoring streak and has scored 18 points in 16 games vs. the Canes. Look for the Caps to be physical against the Canes and put a lot of shots on the goal early. I expect this game to be very close with a bit of the rough stuff as well. Caps will pull this one out late hopefully before overtime.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 CAR 2




Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Game #61 Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: February 20, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 4-6-2-0
Caps Game 61 Record: 14-12-4-1
All-Time vs. NYI: 80-79-13-1
Last Season vs. NYI: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 12/22/07, WAS 2 NYI 3 (OT)

This Year:
WAS Record: 28-26-6
Standings Points: 62
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 2/16/08, WAS 3 TAM 2
Streak: Won 1

NYI Record: 28-25-7
Standings Points: 63
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 2/18/2008, NYI 3 SAN 2
Streak: Won 4

Game 1: 10/8/07, WAS 2 NYI 1
Game 2: 10/18/07, WAS 2 NYI 5
Game 3: 12/22/07, WAS 2 NYI 3 (OT)

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 21 LAICH, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 14 FEHR
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 44 EMINGER
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 55 SCHULTZ
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Islanders
Forward Line 1: 20 BERGENHEIM, 89 COMRIE, 13 GUERIN
Forward Line 2: 26 FEDOTENKO, 63 VASICEK, 7 HUNTER
Forward Line 3: 57 COMEAU, 11 HILBERT, 81 SATAN
Forward Line 4: 15 TAMBELLINI, 51 NIELSON, 10 PARK
Defense Pair 1: 24 MARTINEK, 25 SUTTON
Defense Pair 2: 8 GERVAIS, 44 MEYER
Defense Pair 3: 47 BERGERON, 4 BERARD
Goalie: 39 DIPIETRO
Back-up Goalie: 34 DUBIELEWICZ

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 3 POTI (leg) DTD
Islanders – 25 SUTTON (hamstring) DTD, 57 COMEAU (head) DTD, 32 WITT (knee) IR, 18 SILLINGER (hip) IR, 14 CAMPOLI (shoulder) IR, 17 BATES (hip) IR, 2 JOHNSON (knee) IR, 16 SIM (knee) IR

Caps Milestones:
Tomas Fleischmann will play in his 100th career game
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 2 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:
The Caps square off with the Islanders in another game with standing’s places in the balance. The Islanders are one place ahead of the Caps in the Eastern Conference. Both teams need points to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Caps are hoping Alex Ovechkin has no lingering symptoms from the flu that was bothering him this past weekend. Alex went pointless and hitless in the last two games. The Isles are a bit banged up but have put together a four game winning streak. Look for the Caps to try and get an early lead. It has been difficult for the Caps as of late, they have 3 first period goals in their last ten games. There are only 22 games left in the season so they better put it in gear soon. The good news is that Nicklas Backstrom is still hot, 5 points in the last 5 games, Alex Semin is heating up, 6 points in his last 5 games, and Olie Kolzig has very effective lately.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 NYI 2

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Peter Forsberg, a Washington Capital?

Currently the Capitals are sitting two points out of first place in the Southeast. There are 22 games remaining on the schedule. Most likely, they are going to have to win the division to make the playoffs. They have some of the best young talent in the league. They have four veteran players on the injured list and the rebuild is over. What do the Capitals do to put themselves into the true playoff picture? Enter Mr. Peter Forsberg. The ultimate in late season rental players with a price tag the Caps can handle. No draft picks to give up, no young talent to send away, just cold, hard 2008 salary cap cash. Apparently, this week he will decide if he can play this season and, if he can play, you can be sure every team in the league will be vying for his services. According to NLSCAP.com, the Caps have the third most cap room of any team right now with about $14.7 million in remaining salary. So money shouldn’t be an issue. What about the team, would he fit in? With the loss of Michal Nylander the Caps have been searching for a second high caliber center to play either of the top two lines. I am sure “Ovechkin from Forsberg” and “Semin from Forsberg” sound pretty much the same. He’s a guy who seems fits into the Bruce Boudreau philosophy of winning by scoring more than your opponent. He is a gritty player who is not afraid to punch the game’s premier Pre Madonna right in the chops. He is highly respected among the players and is driven to succeed. What does Washington have to offer? The ability to play in an offense geared to score, a first line left wing that knows how to score goals, and a young Swedish center that has been called “The next Peter Forsberg.” The Caps are in position to win the Southeast Division and the #3 seed in the East. That would give them a first round series with the #6 seed with home ice. The East is not considered to be the stronger conference this year but the Caps have another advantage in conference. They have beaten the #1 team in the east four times this year. He could very well push them over the top at just the right time. Peter is also very patriotic to his native Sweden. It would give him the chance to work with young Nicklas Backstrom and instill some of his hockey wisdom. What’s the downside? He might get hurt. He has been injury plagued for the past few seasons with bad ankle problems. That is really it, and the money you have to pay him. But even with those injuries he still put up a point per game average when he did play. The other thing the Caps have going for them is they do not need to sign him to a long term deal just this season. Offer him a no strings attached rest of the season plus playoffs deal then go from there. The Capitals are going to need a bunch of cap room to sign their restricted free agents this year so this situation may not happen again. What if it doesn’t work? Then the Caps are out a little cash but you will have credit with the fan base. They went out and got the very best available to deliver on your plan, and they did it with the least possible risk. If you really want to see hockey bandwagon fans come out of the woodwork just tell them Peter Forsberg is coming. Will the Caps do it? That is the big question. I sure hope they do because I think they have the right situation for him. A team full of weapons just suited for his game and a team that is on the upswing in which his presents will make the difference. What do you think?

Update: Per TSN, Forsberg will not return to the NHL this year.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Game #60 Recap - Capitals 3 Lightning 2

Sorry, but Joe has been on the IR with an upper body injury week (i.e. a wicked case of the flu) . Anyway, it looked like the Caps were going to capture defeat from the jaws of victory but Alex Semin flicked a rebound past the Tampa goalie to regain a lead with 3:00 remaining . The Caps then held off the Lightning to take home the victory.

Qwik of Note:
  • Viktor Kozlov recorded his 300th career assist on Semin's game winning goal.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Game #59 Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers

Where: Bank Atlantic Center, Sunrise, FL

When: February 15, 2008, 7:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 7-9-2-1
Caps Game 59 Record: 10-16-4-1
All-Time vs. FLA: 34-28-9-6
Last Season vs. FLA: 3-3-2
Last Meeting: 1/19/08, WAS 5 FLA 3

This Year:
WAS Record: 27-25-6
Standings Points: 60
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 2/13/08, WAS 2 ATL 3 (OT-SO)
Streak: Loss 1

FLA Record: 26-27-6
Standings Points: 58
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 13th
Last Game: 2/13/2008, FLA 1 MON 2 (OT)
Streak: Loss 2

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: 12/1/07, WAS 2 FLA 1
Game 5: 1/19/08, WAS 5 FLA 3

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 21 LAICH, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 14 FEHR
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 44 EMINGER
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 55 SCHULTZ
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Florida
Forward Line 1: 18 PELTONEN, 12 JOKINEN, 53 MCLEAN
Forward Line 2: 10 BOOTH, 54 KREPS, 16 HORTON
Forward Line 3: 11 CAMPBELL, 51 GLOBKE, 45 BRINE
Forward Line 4: 37 GLASS, 64 MEYER, 7 MONTADOR
Defense Pair 1: 4 BOUWMEESTAR, 5 ALLEN
Defense Pair 2: 24 SALEI, 22 CULLIMORE
Defense Pair 3: 21 MURPHY, 2 MEZEI,
Goalie: 29 VOKOUN
Back-up Goalie: 31 ANDERSON

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 3 POTI (leg) DTD
Florida – 85 OLESZ (hand) IR, 17 MURRAY (shoulder) IR, 14 DVORAK (broken fingers) IR, 9 WEISS (flu) DTD, 27 WELCH (shoulder) IR, 26 VAN RYN (wrist) IR, 15 STUMPEL (shoulder) IR, 20 ZEDNIK (neck laceration) IR

Caps Milestones:
Viktor Kozlov needs 1 assists to reach 300 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 2 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:
Carolina’s win last night put them in 1st place and 2 points in front of the Capitals. A win in Florida tonight would draw them into a tie with the Caps still having a game in hand. The Caps have been playing good hockey lately but not great hockey. They gutted out a point against Atlanta on Wednesday but have been involved in one goal games 10 of their last 13. Look for the Caps to try and put a full game together. Their even strength play has been excellent but their special teams are not where they need to be. If they can put that component together then watch out. Florida is in a tough place following an overtime loss in Montreal Wednesday. With that said they are only 2 points behind the Caps and got some good news as Richard Zednik is set to be released from the hospital on Saturday. This should be a spirited affair with plenty of scoring, but mostly by the Caps, I think.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 FLA 2

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Game #58 Recap - Capitals 2 Thrashers 3 (OT-SO)

The Capitals put on a great effort last night but were forced to settle for 1 standings point. Atlanta's goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped 39 of the Cap's 41 shots and both of the Cap's shootout attempts. Olie Kolzig was excellent in net for the Caps stopping 26 of 28 shots on goal. Viktor Kozlov started scoring in the second off a rebound of an Alex Ovechkin shot. Following two 2nd period Thrasher goals, the Caps finally responded at 18:39 of the 3rd when Mike Green made a nice outlet pass to Nicklas Backstrom who directed the puck to Ovechkin who buried a wrist shot from the left wing circle to tie the game. The Caps poured 6 shots on Lehtonen in the overtime but the game went to the shootout. The Thrashers scored on their first two attempts and Alexander Semin missed the Caps first attempt and Boyd Gordon was stopped on the second attempt.

Of Note:
  • Ovechkin was kept in check for most of the game but still managed a goal and an assist.
  • Boyd Gordon must be feeling shell shocked as he was robbed twice in the game by Lehtonen and then again in the shootout.
  • The Caps were atrocious in the face-off circle winning just 21 of 60 draws.
  • Nicklas Backstrom recored assists on both Capital goals and now has 47 points on the season.
  • Mike Green had an assist and was a +2 for the game. He and Ovechkin led the Caps with 6 shots on goal apiece.
  • Capitals defensemen Tom Poti left the game in the first period with an injury.
  • Just a bit of a rant here but I feel like Washington always seems to get the shaft in other buildings when it comes to the three stars of the game. In a 3-2 overtime, shootout win the three stars all went to Atlanta. Why can't the Washington media take the hint and boost our own players for a change. For instance the gave Sean Avery of the Rangers the third star in the Caps last victory on Sunday. That's ridiculous. I know it doesn't make that much difference in the big picture but I don't like seeing our guys get the cold shoulder. The were at least 4 or 5 Caps that should have been considered one of the 3 best on the ice last night and I want them to be recognized.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats
Shootout Details


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Game #58 Washington Capitals at Atlanta Thrashers

Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

When: February 13, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 4-7-2-0
Caps Game 58 Record: 15-14-1-1
All-Time vs. ATL: 22-16-5-4
Last Season vs. ATL: 3-3-2
Last Meeting: 2/2/08, WAS 0 ATL 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 27-25-5
Standings Points: 59
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 2/10/08, WAS 3 NYR 2 (OT)
Streak: Won 1

ATL Record: 27-27-4
Standings Points: 58
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 2/9/2007, ATL 2 TAM 1
Streak: Won 1

Game 1: 10/5/07, WAS 3 ATL 1
Game 2: 11/6/07, WAS 1 ATL 2 (OT)
Game 3: 11/21/07, WAS 1 ATL 5
Game 4: 1/15/08, WAS 6 ATL 3
Game 5: 2/2/08, WAS 0 ATL 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 21 LAICH, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 14 FEHR
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 55 SCHULTZ
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Atlanta
Forward Line 1: 13 KOZLOV, 12 WHITE, 8 RECCHI
Forward Line 2: 36 BOULTON, 16 HOLIK, 18 HOSSA
Forward Line 3: 17 KOVALCHUK, 11 PERRIN, 27 THORBURN
Forward Line 4: 9 DUPUIS, 23 SLATER, 29 LARSEN
Defense Pair 1: 77 ZHITNIK, 22 KLEE
Defense Pair 2: 2 EXELBY, 28 HAVELID
Defense Pair 3: 39 ENSTROM, 5 MCCARTHY
Goalie: 32 LEHTONEN
Back-up Goalie: 1 HEDBERG

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
Atlanta – 20 RUCCHIN (concussion) IR

Caps Milestones:
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 1 assists to reach 300 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 2 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:
With a win over the Rangers on Sunday the Capitals reclaimed the Division lead and now embark on a three game road trip to Atlanta, Florida and Tampa. All three are Southeast Division teams and the Caps need to put up some wins if they want to distance themselves from the rest of Division. The Thrashers are one point behind the Caps and are coming off of a victory against Tampa. They are led by Ilya Kovalchuk who is second in the league in goals scored. He is currently trailing Alex Ovechkin by 8 goals. Look for the Caps to score early. A task they have not accomplished lately as they have scored in the first period only 3 times in the last 9 games. They also need to keep scoring on the power play. They recorded 2 power play goals in Sunday’s win. This one should have a playoff type atmosphere.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 ATL 3

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Capitals Recall Defenseman Sami Lepisto

This from the Capitals' official site:
"ARLINGTON, Va., – The Washington Capitals have recalled defenseman Sami Lepisto from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.

Lepisto (SA-mee LEH-pihs-toh), 23, has played in 37 games for Hershey this year, posting 29 points (2 goals, 27 assists). He leads all Hershey defensemen in scoring and ranks 14th among AHL defensemen in points. His +25 rating leads the Bears and ranks second in the league, first among defensemen. Lepisto has an eight-game point-scoring streak with Hershey, recording one goal, 12 assists and a +12 rating in that time. He has seven assists in his last three games.

Lepisto was selected by the Capitals in the third round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, 66th overall, and becomes the fourth member of the 2004 draft class on the Washington roster (joining Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Schultz and Mike Green, who were all taken in the first round). Lepisto spent four seasons in the top professional league in Finland before making the move to the United States to play for the Bears.

The 6-foot, 176-pound Espoo, Finland, native, has never played in a regular season NHL game."
Update: Per Tarik, Lepisto was returned to Hershey because John Erskine is good to go from his injury suffered in the Carolina game.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Game #57 Recap - Capitals 3 Rangers 2 (OT)

Mike Green's slap shot 23-seconds into overtime lifted the Caps past the Rangers 3-2 and back into first place in the Southeast Division. It was the second power play goal of the game for the Caps and the 15th goal for Green on the season. The team did not make it easy on themselves as they had to kill off 6 New York power plays. In his 700th career game in goal Olie Kolzig came up huge. He stopped 31 of 33 shots and shutout the Rangers in the 2nd half of the game setting the stage for Green's dramatics. It was the 9th 1-goal decision in the last 12 games for the Caps. The team is 7-2-0 in those decisions. The Caps now head out on an important road trip as they face Southeast Division foes Atlanta, Florida, and Tampa this week.

Off note:
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his league leading 47th goal on a first period power play. He also assisted on the game tying and game winning goals. He continued his assault on the Caps record book tying Guy Charron for 22nd place in All-Time Points with 274. He is one goal shy of tying Steve Konowalchuk for 12th place on the Caps All-Time goals list.
  • Boyd Gordon scored the game tying goal, his 5th on the season. He was rewarded with the game's second Star.
  • Alex Semin played some inspired hockey. He assisted on the goals from Gordon and Green.
  • The Caps were out shot (33-24) and out drawn (23-33) but were the more physical team with a 22-12 edge in hits.
  • Eric Fehr and Nicklas Backstrom assisted on Ovechkin's power play goal.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Game #57 Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: February 10, 2008, 1:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 5-5-2-0
Caps Game 57 Record: 9-16-6-0
All-Time vs. NYR: 81-74-14-4
Last Season vs. NYR: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 12/12/07, WAS 5 NYR 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 26-25-5
Standings Points: 57
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 2/8/08, WAS 1 CAR 2
Streak: Loss 1

NYR Record: 28-24-6
Standings Points: 62
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 7th
Last Game: 2/9/2007, NYR 2 PHI 0
Streak: Won 1

Game 1: 10/12/07, WAS 1 NYR 3
Game 2: 11/1/07, WAS 0 NYR 2
Game 3: 12/12/07, WAS 5 NYR 4

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 21 LAICH, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 14 FEHR
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 44 EMINGER, 55 SCHULTZ
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Rangers
Forward Line 1: 16 AVERY, 19 GOMEZ, 68 JAGR
Forward Line 2: 10 DAWES, 17 DUBINSKY, 24 CALLAHAN
Forward Line 3: 82 STRAKA, 23 DRURY, 28 ORR
Forward Line 4: 25 PRUCHA, 15 BETTS, 14 SHANAHAN
Defense Pair 1: 3 ROZSIVAL, 18 STAAL
Defense Pair 2: 51 TYUTIN, 5 GIRARDI
Defense Pair 3: 27 MARA, 34 STRUDWICK
Goalie: 30 LUNDQVIST
Back-up Goalie: 40 VALIQUETTE

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
Rangers – 81 HOSSA (knee, face) IR, 8 MALIK (back) IR, 14 SHANAHAN (leg) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Olaf Kolzig will play in his 700th career game.
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 1 assists to reach 300 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 2 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:
The Caps were knocked out of 1st place in the Southeast Division Friday night. They spent Saturday working on the power play that has been very ineffective lately. They have scored only 1 goal with the man advantage in their last 8 games. Look for the Caps to be more direct in their approach and take the puck to the net more. This is a big game for the Caps to keep pace with the other Southeast Division rivals.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 NYR 2

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Game #56 Recap - Capitals 1 Hurricanes 2

The young Capitals got a taste of what it means to be on top. The lesson they should have learned is to expect the oppositions best. The Capitals did not play particularly well but were still in the game till the end. They were done in by a couple of turnovers in the first period leading to both Carolina goals. The Capitals did learn how to get a goal against a hot goal tender as Alexander Semin scored on a great individual effort with about 10 minutes remaining in the third. Sometimes you need a garbage goal on a broken play. The power play continued to sputter as they went 0-7 on the night. The Caps will try and turn it around tomorrow against the Rangers.

Of Note:
  • Donald Brashear recorded his 2,400th penalty minute. 238 of them coming as a member of the Capitals.
  • Viktor Kozlov recorded his 2,000th shot on goal. He had 4 in the game and 145 on the season.
  • The Caps' Matt Bradley and John Erskine both fought in the first period.
  • The Capitals power play has scored one time in the last 8 games going 1 for the last 24 attempts.
  • The loss moved the Caps from 3rd to 10th in the standings.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats



Thursday, February 7, 2008

Game #56 Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: February 8, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 6-4-3-0
Caps Game 56 Record: 17-10-4-0
All-Time vs. CAR: 28-17-7-3
Last Season vs. CAR: 3-5-0
Last Meeting: 11/30/07, WAS 3 CAR 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 26-24-5
Standings Points: 57
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 2/6/08, WAS 4 PHI 3
Streak: Won 2

CAR Record: 26-26-4
Standings Points: 56
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 2/5/08, CAR 0 NAS 1
Streak: Loss 2

Game 1: 10/6/07, WAS 2 CAR 0
Game 2: 11/5/06, WAS 0 CAR 5
Game 3: 11/24/07, WAS 5 CAR 2
Game 4: 11/30/07, WAS 3 CAR 4

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 14 FEHR
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 25 KOZLOV, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 21 LAICH
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

Carolina
Forward Line 1: 14 SAMSONOV, 17 BRIND’AMOUR, 26 COLE
Forward Line 2: 13 WHITNEY, 12 STAAL, 37 AUCOIN
Forward Line 3: 61 STILLMAN, 8 CULLEN, 24 WALKER
Forward Line 4: 16 LADD, 19 LETOWSKI, 51HAMILTON
Defense Pair 1: 22 COMMODORE, 6 HEDICAN
Defense Pair 2: 7 WALLIN, 42 GLEASON
Defense Pair 3: 5 KABERLE, 2 WESLEY
Goalie: 30 WARD
Back-up Goalie: 47 GRAHME

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
Carolina – 11 WILLIAMS (knee) IR, 45 TANABE (concussion) IR, 59 LAROSE (broken leg) IR

Caps Milestones:
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 1 PIM to reach 2,400 for his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 1 assists to reach 300 for his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 4 SOG to reach 2,000 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 2 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals take on division rival Carolina on Friday with first place in the balance. Brent Johnson will be making the start. Is Boudreau playing a hunch or are the winds of change in the air? We’ll have to wait and see. The offense has been more consistent the past two games with Eric Fehr playing on the first line and Viktor Kozlov centering the second line. However, the faceoff percentage has taken a hit, but it doesn’t help to win faceoffs if you don’t score. The Canes have been termed underachievers this year but this team cannot be taken lightly. They most likely will start Cam Ward who shutout the Caps earlier this year. Look for the Caps to come out hard and attack the Carolina net. They will try and get an early lead. If they do that, I have a feeling, they may run away with it but they have only scored 4 first period goals in their last eight games. If it’s close after one it’ll be a tight one.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 CAR 2

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Game #55 Recap - Capitals 4 Flyers 3

This morning the Capitals find themselves in an unfamiliar territory. After defeating a very good Philadelphia Flyer team last night, the Caps have claimed the top spot in the Southeast Division. Their 57 standings points are 1 point ahead of Carolina and Atlanta. Brooks Laich, Matt Bradley, Viktor Kozlov and, of course, Alex Ovechkin scored goals as the Caps built a 4-1 lead with about 10 minutes left in the third period. The Flyers, winners of eight of their last 10, made a run with 2 late goals but Washington held on for the victory. Olie Kolzig play very well in goal stopping 31 of 34 shots. The Caps face Carolina on Friday in a game that should have a playoff type atmosphere in the Phone Booth.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin matched his goal total from last year scoring his 46th of the season. The goal turned out to be the game winner. The score moved him into a tie for 13th on the Caps All-Time Goals Scored list with his friend Sergei Gonchar.
  • The defense continued the offensive contributions with Mike Green assisting twice and single assists from Tom Poti and Milan Jurcina.
  • Vikor Kozlov scored his 11th goal of the season and seems to have been able to jump start the second line as he, Alexander Semin, and Tomas Fleischmann have been getting quality scoring chances. However, Kozlov has been a bit rusty on his face-offs. After a 1-10 performance in Columbus he was 5-9 last night.
  • The Caps were out shot 27 to 34 and went 29 to 38 in the face-off circle.
  • Since Thanksgiving, the Caps, under Bruce Boudreau, have won 14 of 21 1-goal games.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Game #55 Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA

When: February 6, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 3-3-2-1
Caps Game 55 Record: 13-13-4-1
All-Time vs. PHI: 63-92-19-0
Last Season vs. PHI: 4-0-0
Last Meeting: 1/13/08, WAS 4 PHI 6

This Year:
WAS Record: 25-24-5
Standings Points: 55
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 2/5/08, WAS 4 CLB 3 (OT)
Streak: Won 1

PHI Record: 30-17-5
Standings Points: 65
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd
Last Game: 2/5/08, PHI 3 ATL 2
Streak: Won 2

Game 1: 11/2/07, WAS 2 PHI 3
Game 2: 11/23/07, WAS 4 PHI 3
Game 3: 1/13/08, WAS 4 PHI 6

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 14 FEHR
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 25 KOZLOV, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Forward Line 3: 53 LAING, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 21 LAICH
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

Philadelphia
Forward Line 1: 19 HARTNELL, 20 UMBERGER, 9 UPSHALL
Forward Line 2: 12 GAGNE, 18 RICHARDS, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 3: 32 COTE, 17 CARTER, 27 DOWNIE
Forward Line 4: 34 DOWD, 48 BRIERE, 24 KAPANEN
Defense Pair 1: 2 HATCHER, 26 VANDERMEER
Defense Pair 2: 44 TIMONEN, 5 COBURN
Defense Pair 3: 21 SMITH, 6 JONES
Goalie: 43 BIRON
Back-up Goalie: 30 NIITTYMAKI

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
Philadelphia – 3 RATHJE (hip/back) IR, 15 LUPUL (concussion) IR, 8 FITZPATRICK (sports hernia) IR

Caps Milestones:
Donald Brashear needs 2 Points to reach 200 for his career
Donald Brashear needs 3 PIM’s to reach 2,400 for his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 1 assists to reach 300 for his career
Viktor Kozlov needs 6 SOG to reach 2,000 for his career
Matt Pettinger needs 2 Points to reach 100 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals brought the entire team last night as the 1st Line, 2nd Line, and the defense scored in the 4-3 OT victory. They need to continue to get production from all sources as well as the special teams. The Caps have not scored a power play goal in the last 4 games with 10 attempts total. The Caps also gave up a 5-on-3 shorthanded goal. The special teams will be a major key going down the stretch. The Caps have the opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division with a victory tonight. Look for this to be a very physical, grinding game as both teams played last night. Look for the Caps to try and get an early lead and control the pace of the game. It’s time for the team to take the next step.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 PHI 3

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