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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