Thursday, February 28, 2008

Game #65 Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils

Where: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

When: February 29, 2008, 7:00 PM

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:

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

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

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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