Monday, March 31, 2008

Game #80 Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: April 1, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 11-5-1-1
Caps Game 80 Record: 18-10-3-0
All-Time vs. CAR: 29-19-7-3
All-Time Home Record vs. CAR: 16-9-2-1
Last Season vs. CAR: 3-3-2
Last Meeting: 3/25/08, WAS 3 CAR 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 40-31-8
Standings Points: 88
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 9th
Last Game: 3/29/08, WAS 3 FLA 0
Streak: Won 4

CAR Record: 42-31-6
Standings Points: 90
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 3/29/08, CAR 1 TAM 2
Streak: Loss 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
Game 6: 2/23/08, WAS 3 CAR 6
Game 7: 3/25/08, WAS 3 CAR 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 24 COOKE, 91 FEDOROV, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 43 FLEISCHMANN, 21 LAICH, 14 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Carolina
Forward Line 1: 14 SAMSONOV, 12 STAAL, 37 AUCOIN
Forward Line 2: 15 RUUTU, 34 JENSEN, 24 WALKER
Forward Line 3: 59 LAROSE, 19 LETOWSKI, 51 HAMILTON
Forward Line 4: 18 BAYDA, 28 BROOKBANK, 26 COLE
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, 39 STECKEL (broken finger) DTD
Carolina – 11 WILLIAMS (knee) IR, 45 TANABE (concussion) IR, 44 EAVES (shoulder) IR, 17 BRIND’AMOUR (knee) IR, 8 CULLEN (concussion) IR, 13 WHITNEY (leg surgery) IR, 6 HEDICAN (torso) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Mike Green needs 2 Shots on Goal to reach 300 for his career.
John Erskine needs 7 PIM’s to reach 500 in his career.

Preview:
The roller coaster ride continues as the Carolina Hurricanes come into the Phone Booth with a two point lead in the division with three games to play. The dreaded 3-point game came into full effect this weekend and has Washington three points behind Boston, Philly, and the New York Rangers for the eight spot in the East. The scenarios range far and wide as to who needs to do what for the Caps to get in the playoffs. The one constant is that the Caps need to keep winning. Winning will put the pressure on the other teams and if there are true hockey gods then the best teams in the league (i.e. the Caps) will make the post season. In the most recent meeting at Verizon Center, February 8th, Washington came into the game having just moved into first place in the division. Carolina dealt them a humbling blow with a 2-1 defeat of the Caps. Over the weeks since that game we have watched a team grow up. This team now knows what it is like to play in the big games to take on the top competition as well as how to take on the teams with nothing to lose. They have learned to come back from adversity and how to finish off a team when they are down. Now is their biggest test of the season. A win will put them squarely in contention for the post season. Look for this game to start at a torrid pace with both teams being very physical. The intensity will be sky high and watch our guys as, I think, they will grow into a true playoff caliber team and nothing will stand in their way.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 2 CAR 1
Joe’s wife offers a little more scoring: Caps 4 CAR 3 (possible OT)

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Game #79 Recap - Capitals 3 Panthers 0

With a 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers, the Capitals keep pace with Philly and Boston in the race for the 8th playoff spot. They also got some help from Tampa who defeated the Carolina Hurricanes allowing the Caps to pull within 2 points of the Southeast Division Leaders. Cristobal Huet recorded his second shutout for the Caps since coming over from the Canadians at the trade deadline. After a scoreless first period, Viktor Kozlov opened the scoring in the second period with a one-timer that beat Florida goaltender Tomas Vokoun. Then Mike Green converted a beautiful feed from Alex Ovechkin for a 2-0 lead after two periods. Not to be out done, Ovechkin collected a loose puck mid-way in the third and fired it into the net for his 62nd goal of the season. The Caps finished their 6-game road trip with a 5-1-0 record. They face Carolina at home on Tuesday.

Of Note:
  • Huet stopped 34 shots for his 4th shutout of the season.
  • Viktor Kozlov had a three point night (1 goal - 2 assists) and Mike Green scored his 18th goal of the year. Both players broke the 50 point plateau on the season.
  • Tom Poti had 2 assists and Brooks Laich and Ovechkin had 1, as well.
  • The Caps were out shot 30-32 and out drawn in face-offs 28-24.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Game #79 Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers

Where: Bank Atlantic Center, Sunrise, FL

When: March 29, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 7-2-5-1
Caps Game 79 Record: 12-15-3-1
All-Time vs. FLA: 34-29-9-6
All-Time Road Record at FLA: 16-18-4-1
Last Season vs. FLA: 3-3-2
Last Meeting: 2/15/08, WAS 2 FLA 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 39-31-8
Standings Points: 86
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 9th
Last Game: 3/27/08, WAS 4 TAM 3 (OT)
Streak: Won 3

FLA Record: 36-33-9
Standings Points: 81
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 3/27/08, FLA 2 ATL 3
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
Game 6: 2/16/08, WAS 2 FLA 4

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 24 COOKE, 91 FEDOROV, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 43 FLEISCHMANN, 21 LAICH, 14 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Florida
Forward Line 1: 10 BOOTH, 9 WEISS, 16 HORTON
Forward Line 2: 85 OLESZ, 53 MCLEAN, 14 DVORAK
Forward Line 3: 18 PELTONEN, 12 JOKINEN, 15 STUMPEL
Forward Line 4: 11 CAMPBELL, 54 KREPS, 33 BELAK
Defense Pair 1: 4 BOUWMEESTAR, 22 CULLIMORE
Defense Pair 2: 3 SKRASTINS, 6 JOHANSSON
Defense Pair 3: 21 MURPHY, 5 ALLEN
Goalie: 29 VOKOUN
Back-up Goalie: 31 ANDERSON

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 39 STECKEL (broken finger) DTD
Florida – 20 ZEDNIK (neck laceration) IR, 17 MURRAY (shoulder) IR, 26 VAN RYN (wrist) IR, 27 WELCH (shoulder) IR

Caps Milestones:
Mike Green needs 7 Shots on Goal to reach 300 for his career.
Victor Kozlov needs 2 Shots on Goal to reach 200 as a Capital.

Preview:
The Capitals again need to win this game to keep pace in the playoff race. The Panthers are a very dangerous opponent. They have lost their previous two games and have almost been eliminated from the playoffs but have still been one of the hottest teams in the league over the last three weeks. In their last meeting, February 15th, the Panthers beat the Caps 4-2. The Caps, however, have been playing elimination hockey for the last two months and Head Coach Bruce Boudreau has them believing in themselves. They have come from behind in the last two games to pullout shootout and overtime wins. Look for this to be another close physical game that will cause you to pull your hair out. The Caps will find a way to pull this one out in the end, but hang on because it’s going to be a rollercoaster ride.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 FLA 2

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Game #78 Recap - Capitals 4 Lightning 3 (OT)

Another nail bitting overtime victory for the Caps. It took 2:27 of overtime before the Tomas Fleischmann of the Capitals finally put away the Tampa Bay Lightning. With the Tampa goalie scrambling to cover a loose puck Brooks Laich was able to pass to a wide open Fleischmann who buried the puck for the victory. The win allowed the Caps to keep pace with the Boston Bruins who defeated Toronto last night. This was a good win for the Caps who have won four of five on this road trip and have another game in Florida tomorrow. The game was a hard fought victory as the Caps twice took one goal leads only to have Tampa come back and score. Tampa took the lead early in the third and the Caps came back with a goal late to tie it up and send it to overtime. This is what happens when teams play as many times as the Caps and and Bolts have played each other over the last three seasons. Each team knows each other inside and out and its a grind it out type game. Tampa really made life difficult in the neutral zone and frustrated the Caps vertical game. The Caps had a standout performance from Sergei Fedorov who set up Brooks Laich to open the game with a shorthanded goal and then set up up Alexander Semin's game tying goal with a face-off win in the third period. Cristobal Huet played an excellent game in goal making several spectacular saves to keep the game close. With 4 games remaining the Caps are 2 points behind the Bruins in the playoff race. For the Caps the need to follow the advice of Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis and "Just win, baby."

Of Note:
  • Brooks Laich recorded his 20th goal of the season, a career best. It was his 2nd shorthanded goal on the year and he assisted on Fleischmann's game-winner.
  • Matt Bradley scored his 7th goal of the year, assisted by Tom Poti and Jeff Schultz.
  • Boyd Gordon played in his 200th career NHL game. He was a plus-1 with 1 shot on goal and 2 blocked shots.
  • The Capitals out shot Tampa 32-26 and led in face-off wins 35-28.
  • Cristobal Huet finished with 23 saves in the win giving him a 7-2-0 record since coming over from Montreal.
  • Alexander Semin's goal was the 72nd of his career and tied him with Chris Simon at 33rd on the Caps All-Time Goals list. His 134th point ties him with Richard Zednik at 45th on the All-Time Points list.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Game #78 Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL

When: March 27, 2008, 7:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 3-8-2-0
Caps Game 78 Record: 13-13-3-2
All-Time vs. TAM: 46-24-6-4
All-Time Road Record at TAM: 22-14-2-2
Last Season vs. TAM: 2-4-2
Last Meeting: 2/16/08, WAS 3 TAM 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 38-31-8
Standings Points: 84
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 9th
Last Game: 3/25/08, WAS 3 CAR 2 (OT-SO)
Streak: Won 2

TAM Record: 30-38-8
Standings Points: 68
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 15th
Last Game: 3/25/08, TAM 3 FLA 1
Streak: Won 1

Game 1: 10/24/07, WAS 5 TAM 3
Game 2: 11/10/07, WAS 2 TAM 5
Game 3: 11/16/07, WAS 2 TAM 5
Game 4: 12/15/07, WAS 3 TAM 2
Game 5: 12/26/07, WAS 3 TAM 2
Game 6: 2/16/08, WAS 3 TAM 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 24 COOKE, 91 FEDOROV, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 43 FLEISCHMANN, 21 LAICH, 14 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 4 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Tampa
Forward Line 1: 21 DARCHE, 4 LACAVALIER, 7 OUELLET
Forward Line 2: 10 JOKINEN, 11 HALPERN, 26 ST. LOUIS
Forward Line 3: 61 STEWART, 29 MACDONALD, 42 LESSARD
Forward Line 4: 74 TARNASKY, 24 KARLSSON, 16 WARD
Defense Pair 1: 22 BOYLE, 2 PICARD
Defense Pair 2: 54 RANGER, 71 KUBA
Defense Pair 3: 55 O’BRIEN, 39 LUNDIN
Goalie: 31 RAMO
Back-up Goalie: 30 DENIS

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 39 STECKEL (broken finger), 4 ERSKINE (undisclosed) DTD
Tampa – 34 CRAIG (knee) IR, 27 TAYLOR (hip) IR, 37 LUKOWICH (sports hernia) IR, 77 GRATTON (hip) IR, 41 SMITH (knee) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Boyd Gordon will play his 200th career NHL game
Nicklas Backstrom needs 2 assists to tie Alex Ovechkin’s record for most assists by a Capitals rookie.
Mike Green needs 13 Shots on Goal to reach 300 for his career.
Victor Kozlov needs 4 Shots on Goal to reach 200 as a Capital.

Preview:

The Capitals need to win this game to stay in the playoff hunt. This will be the case for the final 5 games of the season. After a big win in Carolina the team cannot afford a letdown against the Lightning. The Caps need to come out strong and build a lead early and not let Tampa even into this one. These are the dangerous games as Tampa is having a difficult year but still has the power to put a huge damper in the Caps’ playoff plans. Just ask the Florida Panthers who lost to Tampa on Tuesday to put them 3 points behind the Caps. Look for the Caps to put the accelerator down early and continue to shoot the puck from everywhere. With Tampa’s #1 goalie going down in practice earlier this week it will be an uphill battle for the Lightning, but it has been that way all season for them. If the Caps play their game this one should not be close.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 6 TAM 2

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Game #77 Recap - Capitals 3 Hurricanes 2 (OT-SO)

The last shooter stepped on to the ice in the opening round of the shoot out. The previous 5 shooters had failed to score. Viktor Kozlov calmly skated the puck into the offensive zone. He got into shooting position. The goalie maneuvered to block his angle. Kozlov quickly changed the angle on his shot and fired it into the net blowing the water bottle off the top of the goal. The Caps win! The shoot out victory allowed the Caps to keep pace in the race for the playoffs with Philadelphia and Boston who both won last night. It also showed the importance of a couple of their most recent acquisitions. For Viktor Kozlov, who was acquired last summer during free agency partly because of his shootout prowess, it was his second consecutive game deciding goal in the shootout. And Cristobal Huet, who was acquired at the trade deadline, has not allowed a goal to any of the 5 shooters he has faced in the shootout. This year the Caps are 4-4 in the shootout. Last year they were 1-11. It was a need that had to be addressed and in this case the moves have payed dividends.

The Caps dominated for long stretches in this game but Carolina goaltender Cam Ward stopped nearly everything thrown at him. The Caps fired 44 shots on goal but managed only two goals. The Canes were the benefactor of two, shall we say, lucky bounces. The first was on the power play in the first period when a cross ice feed was deflected off Boyd Gordon's skate and directly into the Caps net. And the second came on a video review, for which I have yet to see a definitive replay showing that the initial call of no goal should have been reversed. On the play Huet made the initial save, but Shoane Morrisonn hit Erik Cole in front of the net and both players plowed into the Caps' goalie and pushed him into the net. The goal tied the game at 2-2. The Caps had a big chance to end it in the overtime when Cole was called for hooking. The Caps put 2 shots on goal but failed to convert on the 4-on-3 advantage.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his 61st goal of the season. With the goal he sets the single season goals scored record for the franchise. He passes Dennis Maruk who had 60 in the 1981-82 season. Ovechkin also recored 11 shots on goal giving him 1,238 in his career. He passes Bengt Gustufsson who had 1,236 and ties Steve Konowalchuk for 11th All-Time on the Caps Shots on Goal List. He also set a career high with his 107th point of the season. It was the 7th time this year Ovechkin had 10 or more shots in a game.
  • Nicklas Backstrom recorded 2 assists in the game. He now has 52 assists on the season and is 2 away from tying Alex Ovechkin's rookie record of 54.
  • Milan Jurcina played in his 100th game as a Capital.
  • The Caps out shot Carolina 44-27 and won the face-off battle 42-29. Boyd Gordon won 10 of the 13 draws he took.
  • Alexander Semin scored his 23rd goal of the season on the power play to tie the score at 1-1 in the second period.
  • Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov recorded an assist each.
  • According to the Super Stats (link below) the Canes out hit the Caps 41-21. Home team bias? I think so.
  • Cristobal Huet stopped 25 of 27 shots and both goals against came with the Canes on the power play.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Monday, March 24, 2008

Game #77 Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes

Where: RBC Center, Raleigh, NC

When: March 25, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 11-4-2-0
Caps Game 77 Record: 13-14-2-2
All-Time Record vs. CAR: 28-19-7-3
All-Time Road Record at CAR: 12-10-5-2
Last Season vs. CAR: 3-5-0
Last Meeting: 2/23/08, WAS 3 CAR 6

This Year:
WAS Record: 37-31-8
Standings Points: 82
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 9th
Last Game: 3/21/08, WAS 5 ATL 3
Streak: Won 1

CAR Record: 41-30-5
Standings Points: 87
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 3/20/08, CAR 2 FLA 1
Streak: Won 3

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
Game 6: 2/23/08, WAS 3 CAR 6

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 24 COOKE, 91 FEDOROV, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 43 FLEISCHMANN, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 14 FEHR
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 4 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 42 LEPISTO
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Carolina
Forward Line 1: 14 SAMSONOV, 12 STAAL, 26 COLE
Forward Line 2: 15 RUUTU, 34 JENSEN, 24 WALKER
Forward Line 3: 18 BAYDA, 51 HAMILTON, 37 AUCOIN
Forward Line 4: 28 BROOKBANK, 19 LETOWSKI, 44 EAVES
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, 39 STECKEL (broken finger), 4 ERSKINE (undisclosed) DTD
Carolina – 4 SEIDENBERG (ankle) DTD, 11 WILLIAMS (knee) IR, 45 TANABE (concussion) IR, 59 LAROSE (broken leg) IR, 17 BRIND’AMOUR (knee) IR, 8 CULLEN (concussion) IR, 13 WHITNEY (leg surgery) IR

Caps Milestones:
Milan Jurcina will play his 100th game as a member of the Capitals
Nicklas Backstrom needs 4 assists to tie Alex Ovechkin’s record for most assists by a Capitals rookie.
Mike Green needs 14 Shots on Goal to reach 300 for his career.
Victor Kozlov needs 6 Shots on Goal to reach 200 as a Capital.

Preview:

In the biggest must win game of the season, the Caps travel to Carolina to face the 1st Place Hurricanes. The Caps have won 9 of their last 13 games and are within 2 points of Boston in the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Caps pulled out a 5-3 come from behind victory on Friday to keep in the playoff hunt. Florida and Buffalo sit 1 point behind the Caps in the standings. The Caps are 2-4-0 against the Canes this season and must play them again on April 1st. Look for the Caps to come out strong against the Canes and try to establish a lead. This should be a very physical hockey game with a playoff atmosphere. The Caps have played enough of these type games that they should not be intimidated by the situation. The Canes have beaten the Caps in their previous 3 meetings. The Canes have “held” Alex Ovechkin to 5 goals and 9 points in the 6 games this season. Alex is a man on a mission in this one.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 CAR 2

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Game #76 Recap - Capitals 5 Thrashers 3

The Washington Capitals grew up a bit last night. After taking a 1-0 lead into the first intermission they allowed 3 second period goals and we're playing very tentative hockey. I don't know what was said in the locker room between the second and third periods but the Caps turned on the intensity. They proceeded to out shoot the Thrashers 23-2 in the period. At the 11:30 point Alex Ovechkin broke through with his 60th goal of the season. Then Nicklas Backstrom scored at the 16:00 and the 16:32 mark of the period to give the Caps the lead. With the Atlanta goalie pulled for an extra attacker Boyd Gordon finished the scoring with an empty net goal. Ovechkin led the way with a goal and two assists in the period. For the Caps they found a way to win a game when they had to. It is an important lesson to learn and they should continue to build on the effort. With the win they are within 1 point of the 8th place Boston Bruins. Toronto helped the Caps by defeating Buffalo 4-1 allowing the Caps to move 1-point ahead of of the Sabres. The Caps are off until Tuesday when they head to Carolina for a match up with the Canes.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin scored goals #59 and #60 on the season. It is the first time a player has scored 60 goals since the 1995-96 season. He ties the Capitals single season goal record held by Dennis Maruk. Maruk score 60 goals for the Caps in 1981-82 season. Ovechkin also had 2 assists in the game giving him 304 points in his career. He passes Dmitri Khristich into 18th place on the Capitals All-Time Points list.
  • Nicklas Backstrom's 3 points moved him back into Rookie points lead. It was his 4th game-winning goal on the season.
  • The Caps out shot Atlanta 45-18 in the game. They also had 13 shots blocked and missed the net 7 times.
  • The win was the first time this season the Caps came back and won a game that they had been trailing after two periods.
  • Mike Green recored 2 assists. Tom Poti, Brooks Laich, Viktor Kozlov, and Cristobal Huet recorded 1 assist each.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Friday, March 21, 2008

Caps Third Jersey


An idea for a Capitals third jersey from Smileypen on the Caps Discussion Board. I kinda like it, especially the dark blue. I'd buy one. What do you think?







Thursday, March 20, 2008

Game #76 Washington Capitals vs. Atlanta Thrashers

Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta GA

When: March 21, 2008, 7:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 6-7-3-0
Caps Game 76 Record: 13-10-8-0
All-Time vs. ATL: 23-16-5-5
All-Time At ATL: 9-9-2-4
Last Season vs. ATL: 3-3-2
Last Meeting: 3/14/08, WAS 4 ATL 1

This Year:
WAS Record: 36-31-8
Standings Points: 80
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 3/19/08, WAS 0 CHI 5
Streak: Loss 1

ATL Record: 31-37-8
Standings Points: 70
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 14th
Last Game: 3/19/08, ATL 3 CAR 5
Streak: Loss 4
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
Game 6: 2/13/08, WAS 2 ATL 3 (OT-SO)
Game 7: 3/14/08, WAS 4 ATL 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 91 FEDOROV, 14 FEHR
Forward Line 3: 24 COOKE, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 4 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 42 LEPISTO
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG, 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Atlanta
Forward Line 1: 17 KOVALCHUK, 16 HOLIK, 9 ARMSTRONG
Forward Line 2: 13 KOZLOV, 10 LITTLE, 8 RECCHI
Forward Line 3: 36 BOULTON, 11 PERRIN, 27 THORBURN
Forward Line 4: 29 LARSEN, 9 CHRISTENSEN, 23 SLATER
Defense Pair 1: 39 ENSTROM, 77 ZHITNIK
Defense Pair 2: 7 POPOVIC, 48 VALABIK
Defense Pair 3: 2 EXELBY, 22 KLEE
Goalie: 32 LEHTONEN
Back-up Goalie: 1 HEDBERG

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 39 STECKEL (broken finger), 4 ERSKINE (undisclosed) DTD
Atlanta – 20 RUCCHIN (concussion) IR

Caps Milestones:
Alex Ovechkin needs 2 Goals to reach 60 for this season
Alexander Semin needs 2 Shots on Goal to reach 500 for his career

Preview:
Washington looks to rebound after a disappointing effort in Chicago. They head to Atlanta to take on a struggling Thrashers team. The Caps need to win this game to stay in the playoff race. The Caps have a 3-2-2 record vs. Atlanta this year and this will be the final meeting between the two teams this season. They decisively beat the Thrashers at home 4-1 in their last meeting. Look for the Caps to play with much higher energy this game as they try to get a good start. The Thrashers have been folding like lawn chairs when they get down but still have the second leading goal scorer in Ilya Kovalchuk. Kovalchuck is the only other 50-goal scorer in the NHL this season. Atlanta will try a shut down Alex Ovechkin who has burned the Thrashers throughout his 3 seasons in the league. Ovechkin has 18 goals and 18 assists in 23 career games against Atlanta. The Caps need a good effort and I think Atlanta will see a very determined group in this game.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 ATL 1




Game #75 Recap - Capitals 0 Blackhawks 5

I think Head Coach Bruce Boudreau's comment pretty much sums up the effort by the Caps last night:

“We had a gear missing and they played well,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I just think we had a real stinker. We stunk in the first period.

“I can’t say it any more clearly: We were all horrible together."

The Caps were completely outplayed and went into the first intermission down 4-0. Chicago added a goal in the second and then Chicago's goalie, Nikolai Khabibulin, shut down the Caps with a couple of acrobatic saves to preserve the shut out. To make matters worse, Carolina pounded Atlanta to take a 5-point lead in the SE Division race, and Tampa was was unable to hold onto a 4-1 lead over Buffalo and giving up 6 goals in the third period. Buffalo moved ahead of Washington into 9th place in the conference. The Caps play again on Friday in Atlanta.

Of Note:
  • The Caps were out shot 42-25. After the first period, Chicago held a 18-6 advantage in shots.
  • The Caps took twice as many penalties as Chicago and gave up 1 power play goal.
  • Alex Ovechkin was held pointless for the 17th time this year and his frustration showed as he amassed 7 hits and got into it with Jonathan Toews. Both received matching minors for roughing.
  • According to the Super Stats (link below) the Caps committed no giveaways on the evening. Not so sure about that one.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Game #75 Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, IL

When: March 19, 2008, 8:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 4-5-1-0
Caps Game 75 Record: 14-14-2-1
All-Time vs. CHI: 33-37-11-1
Last Season vs. CHI: Did Not Play
Last Meeting: 1/10/06, WAS 3 CHI 4 (OT)

This Year:
WAS Record: 36-30-8
Standings Points: 80
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 9th
Last Game: 3/18/08, WAS 4 NAS 2
Streak: Won 4

CHI Record: 34-32-7
Standings Points: 75
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 13th
Last Game: 3/16/08, CHI 2 CAL 4
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 91 FEDOROV, 14 FEHR
Forward Line 3: 24 COOKE, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 21 LAICH, 43 FLEISCHMANN
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 4 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 42 LEPISTO
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG, 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Chicago
Forward Line 1: 10 SHARP, 20 LANG, 88 KANE
Forward Line 2: 16 LADD, 19 TOEWS, 29 WILLIAMS
Forward Line 3: 12 BOURQUE, 36 BOLLAND, 28 C. ADAMS
Forward Line 4: 55 EAGER, 17 K. ADAMS, 37 BURISH
Defense Pair 1: 2 KEITH, 7 SEABROOK
Defense Pair 2: 27 ZYUZIN, 42 HENDRY
Defense Pair 3: 5 SOPEL, 25 BARKER
Goalie: 40 LALIME
Back-up Goalie: 39 KHABIBULIN

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 39 STECKEL (broken finger), 4 ERSKINE (undisclosed) DTD
Chicago – 94 PERREAULT (fractured wrist) IR

Caps Milestones:
Alex Ovechkin needs 2 Goals to reach 60 for this season
Alexander Semin needs 6 Shots on Goal to reach 500 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals visit Chicago for the first time since February of 2004. The team is coming in with a season high 4-game winning streak. With a win tonight the Caps would tie Philadelphia in standings points at 80 with Philly having a game in hand. Carolina is still 3 points in front of the Caps and takes on Atlanta tonight. Buffalo is 1 point behind the Caps and Tampa visits them tonight. The Caps will watch the scores but need to focus on the game at hand. It shouldn’t be too hard as this game features the leading contenders for rookie of the year. Chicago’s Patrick Kane has 17 goals and 45 assists for 62 points this season while Capitals’ rookie Nicklas Backstrom has 12 goals and 49 assists for 61 points. If it weren’t for an injury, Jonathan Toews would be right there with Kane and Backstrom. Despite only playing in 55 games Toews has 20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points. The Caps will need to jump on the Blackhawks early, Chicago has losses in 5 of its last 6 games, and not let them think they have a chance. Look for another big 1st period from the Caps who have scored 15 first period goals in their last 9 games, including 3 against Nashville last night. The Washington power play is ranked 6th in the league and has scored in 6 consecutive games. However, they need to stay out of the box as they have allowed the opponent to score 6 power play goals in the last 6 games. The Caps are currently ranked 25th in penalty killing. The game should be fast paced with both teams playing to score. The Caps need this one badly and have a little more than Chicago can handle.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 CHI 2

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Game #74 Recap - Capitals 4 Predators 2

Washington started fast and held on late to beat the Predators 4-2 in Nashville last night. Cristobal Huet stopped 24 of 26 shots on the night. The Caps opened the scoring with 3 goals in the first but then took three consecutive penalties and allowed a Nashville goal four minutes into the second period. The Predators pressed the attack for the rest of the game, out shooting the Caps 19-11 in the second and third periods. The Preds drew within on goal at 12:37 of the third and had the momentum when Matt Cooke was called for tripping at 13:23. The Caps were able to kill off the penalty and with the Nashville net emptied for extra attacker, Alex Ovechkin cleared the puck out of the Caps defensive zone. The puck deflected off the boards and trickled into the net for his 58th goal of the season. Did he call bank on that shot? Yeah, he probably did. It was a good win for the Caps who kept pace with Philadelphia, who defeated Atlanta last night. The Caps moved ahead of Buffalo into 9th place in the conference and are 2 points behind Philly. The Caps play in Chicago tonight.

Of Note:
  • Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Matt Bradley scored the Capitals' fist period goal. Semin's goal came on the power play. The Caps went 1-3 on the power play on the game and the penalty kill was 4-5.
  • Bradley played his 200th game as a Washington Capital.
  • Ovechkin assisted on the first two goals of the game. The empty net goal was only the 5th of his career. His 3 points give him a league leading 102 on the season. The goal was also the 300th point of his career.
  • The 2 goal margin pushed the Caps overall goal differential to +1 on the season. The Caps have made the playoffs every season their overall goal differential was positive or even. In their history, they have never made the playoffs with a negative goal differential.
  • Mike Green and Brooks Laich recored assists in the game. Laich has 6 goals and 8 points in his last 8 games.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Game #72 Recap - Capitals 4 Thrashers 1

A quick recap for today. The Caps dominated the Thrashers. They out shot Atlanta 37-12. Brooks Laich scored two goals, Alex Ovechkin scored his 57th, and the Caps gained on Carolina by 2 points. They prepare to take on Boston Sunday.

Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Friday, March 14, 2008

Game #71 Washington Capitals vs. Atlanta Thrashers

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: March 14, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 3-7-3-0
Caps Game 73 Record: 12-13-5-1
All-Time vs. ATL: 22-16-5-5
Last Season vs. ATL: 3-3-2
Last Meeting: 2/13/08, WAS 2 ATL 3 (OT-SO)

This Year:
WAS Record: 33-30-8
Standings Points: 74
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 3/12/08, WAS 3 CAL 2
Streak: Won 1

ATL Record: 31-33-11
Standings Points: 70
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 14th
Last Game: 3/13/08, ATL 6 CAL 4
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
Game 6: 2/13/08, WAS 2 ATL 3 (OT-SO)

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 91 FEDOROV, 21 LAICH
Forward Line 3: 24 COOKE, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 14 FEHR
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 4 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG, 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

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

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 39 STECKEL (broken finger)
Atlanta – 20 RUCCHIN (concussion) IR, 12 WHITE (shoulder) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Jeff Schultz will play in his 100th career NHL game
Tom Poti needs 1 Shots on Goal to reach 1,100 for his career
Alex Ovechkin needs 4 Goals to reach 60 for this season
Alex Ovechkin needs 3 points to reach 100 for this season
Alex Ovechkin needs 5 Points to reach 300 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals take on the Atlanta Thrashers in another must win game at the Phone Booth. They were able to keep pace with the other playoff contenders with a victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. This year the Caps have a 2-2-2 record against the Thrashers with 2 games remaining in the season series. The Caps need to win both of those games in hopes of making the playoffs. Currently, Atlanta is 14th in the conference and played Calgary last night so the Caps should be the fresher team. Look for them to again put the pressure on early and score first. They need to be physical and get some secondary scoring. It seems that when Alex Ovechkin is held in check the Caps flounder on offense. However, the Caps power play has really come on lately as Brooks Laich has taken to the Tomas Holmstrom role and made himself a real presents in front of opposing goaltenders. Laich has 6 power play goals in the last 11 games. The penalty kill has been hurt with the injury to David Steckel but the Caps have been playing even strength defense very well. In their last 10 games they have given up 23 goals and 10 of those were when the opponent was on the power play. If they can stay out of the box, I think there will be too much Ovechkin in this one as he has amassed 17 goals and 34 points in 22 lifetime matchups with the Thrashers.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 ATL 2

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Game #71 Recap - Capitals 3 Flames 2

The Capitals won a big game last night. They beat Calgary Flames 3-2. Olie Kolzig became the 23rd goaltender in NHL history to record 300 victories. Alex Ovechkin scored his 2nd goal of the night with 1:54 left in the third period. The win allowed the Caps to keep pace with the Carolina Hurricanes who defeated Chicago 3-0. The Caps came out strong with Viktor Kozlov scoring a rebound of a Nicklas Backstrom shot 53-seconds into the game. The Flames came back as the Caps got into penalty trouble at the end of the first. Jarome Iginla scored on a 5-on-3 advantage in the last minute of the period. The Caps were again two men down at the 8:22 mark of the second and Calgary took advantage with a goal just after the first penalty expired. Ovechkin tied the game with a power play goal with near the end of the 2nd. Washington plays Atlanta on Friday at the Verizon Center.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin scored goals number 55 and 56 on the season. Both came on the power play and he moves ahead of Michal Pivonka into 6th place in Capitals All-Time Power Play Goals with 57. He recorded 11 shots on goal and now has 1,200 in his career. He took the NHL lead with his 10th game-winning goal this season.
  • Matt Bradley played in his 400th career NHL game.
  • The Caps went 2 for 7 on the power play but allowed Calgary to score on 2 of 4 power play chances.
  • The Caps out shot Calgary 34-26 and allowed only 2 shots on goal in the third period. They also controlled the face-offs with a 27-22 advantage.
  • John Erskine was injured early in the 2nd period so Mike Green picked up the slack and logged 30:58 in ice time for the game.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats




Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Game #71 Washington Capitals vs. Calgary Flames

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: March 12, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 4-11-0-0
Caps Game 71 Record: 13-12-5-1
All-Time vs. CAL: 25-22-9-0
Last Season vs. CAL: 1-0-0
Last Meeting: 10/30/06, WAS 4 CAL 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 32-30-8
Standings Points: 72
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 3/9/08, WAS 2 PIT 4
Streak: Loss 2

CAL Record: 36-23-10
Standings Points: 82
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 3/10/08, CAL 7 STL 3
Streak: Won 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 91 FEDOROV, 21 LAICH
Forward Line 3: 24 COOKE, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 14 FEHR
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 4 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG, 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Calgary
Forward Line 1: 20 HUSELIUS, 24 CONROY, 12 IGINLA
Forward Line 2: 40 TANGUAY, 22 LANGKOW, 11 NOLAN
Forward Line 3: 26 NILSON, 18 LOMBARDI, 17 GODARD
Forward Line 4: 23 NYSTROM, 19 PRIMEAU, 7 YELLE
Defense Pair 1: 3 PHANEUF, 4 VANDERMEER
Defense Pair 2: 8 ERIKSSON, 28 REGEHR
Defense Pair 3: 33 AUCOIN, 6 SARICH
Goalie: 34 KIPRUSOFF
Back-up Goalie: 31 JOSEPH

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 39 STECKEL (broken finger)
Calgary – 25 MOSS (ankle) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Bradley will play in his 400th career NHL game
Tom Poti needs 2 Shots on Goal to reach 1,100 for his career
Alex Ovechkin needs 6 Goals to reach 60 for this season
Alex Ovechkin needs 5 points to reach 100 for this season
Alex Ovechkin needs 7 Points to reach 300 for his career
Alex Ovechkin needs 11 Shots on Goal to reach 1,200 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals suffered a heartbreaking loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday. They will try to regroup and come out strong against a tough Calgary team. The Caps are in desperation mode now as they need to win and hope for a little help from outside to make the playoffs. With 12 games left and 8 intra-division games left there is still a chance. The Caps also face 3 Western Conference teams starting with Calgary then Nashville and Chicago. The team is playing well and learning a lot from the hard knocks school but it is hard not to notice the improved play of the team as a whole. Look for the Caps to continue to battle hard and try to put on a final run to the end of the regular season. Every game from here on out is a must win.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 CAL 1

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Game #70 Recap - Capitals 2 Penguins 4

It is difficult to be a Caps fan sometimes and yesterday was one of those days. You have got to feel bad for Nicklas Backstrom who inadvertently cleared the puck past Cristobal Huet into the Caps net with 28-seconds left in the third period giving the Pens a 3-2 lead. I felt the same way for Bob Mason in 1987 when he never saw Pat LaFontaine's shot in the 4th overtime of the Easter Classic. I'm sure Nicklas will have much more good for us to remember in the future. Unfortunately for the Caps, they were unable to gain any ground in the standings after two grueling games over the weekend. The Caps played a good game against a good team yesterday. Brooks Laich got the scoring started in the second period with a power play goal. Doing his best Tomas Holmstrom impression he deflected an Alexander Semin shot home in front of the Pittsburgh net. The Pens came back with two goals and then got into some penalty trouble. With a 5-on-3 advantage Semin tied the game with 16-seconds left in the second period. The score stayed that way until the unfortunate events in the final minute. The Pens finished the scoring with an empty net goal. The Caps next host Calgary on Wednesday.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin assisted on both Capitals goals and has 13 points in his last 6 games. He leads the league with 95 points.
  • Alexander Semin's goal was the 69th of his career and ties him with Richard Zednik for 34th on the Caps All-Time Goals list.
  • The Capitals out shot the Pens 38-26 and won 39 of 61 face-offs (64%).
  • Sergei Fedorov recored an assist on the Semin goal. It was the 1,135th point of his career.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Game #70 Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: March 9, 2008, 12:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 9-8-0-0
Caps Game 70 Record: 13-13-4-1
All-Time vs. PIT: 76-85-16-3
Last Season vs. PIT: 0-3-1
Last Meeting: 1/21/08, WAS 6 PIT 5

This Year:
WAS Record: 32-29-8
Standings Points: 72
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 3/9/08, WAS 1 BOS 2
Streak: Loss 1

PIT Record: 38-24-7
Standings Points: 83
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd
Last Game: 3/6/08, PIT 2 FLA 5
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 28 SEMIN, 91 FEDOROV, 21 LAICH
Forward Line 3: 24 COOKE, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 14 FEHR
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 4 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG, 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Pittsburgh
Forward Line 1: 12 MALONE, 71 MALKIN, 17 SYKORA
Forward Line 2: 9 DUPUIS, 87 CROSBY, 18 HOSSA
Forward Line 3: 37 RUUTU, 25 TALBOT, 27 LARAQUE
Forward Line 4: 38 TAFFE, 11 STAAL, 48 KENNEDY
Defense Pair 1: 55 GONCHAR, 44 ORPIK
Defense Pair 2: 2 GILL, 58 LETANG
Defense Pair 3: 4 SCUDERI, 19 WHITNEY
Goalie: 35 CONKLIN
Back-up Goalie: 29 FLEURY

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 39 STECKEL (broken finger)
Pittsburgh – 3 EATON (knee) DTD, 10 ROBERTS (leg fracture) IR, 16 HALL (sports hernia) IR, 24 BEECH (broken wrist) IR, 11 STAAL (bruised ribs) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Tom Poti needs 2 Shots on Goal to reach 1,100 for his career
Alex Ovechkin needs 6 Goals to reach 60 for this season
Alex Ovechkin needs 7 points to reach 100 for this season
Alex Ovechkin needs 9 Points to reach 300 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals lost out on two potential standings points against Boston as the Caps were called for 5 penalties in the final eight minutes leading two Boston 5-on-3 goals and giving them a 2-1 win. The Caps were pretty upset with the end of the game so look for them to take it out on the Pens. It’s going to be a very physical game as the Caps need to scratch out every point they can to get into playoff position. The Pens should have their 1st liners back so it will be important not to give them unnecessary power plays. The Caps power play got on the board again against Boston and has connected for 11 goals in their last 10 games. Both teams always get up for this one but I think the Caps will have more fire than the Pens.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 PIT 3

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Game #69 Recap - Capitals 1 Boston 2

The Caps controlled most of the game against the Bruins. They held a 1-0 advantage until an ill advised penalty, with about 8-minutes remaining in the game, by Donald Brashear was compounded by two more penalties by Caps defensemen John Erskine and Tom Poti. Boston took advantage with two 5-on-3 power play goals and downed the Caps 2-1. The officiating left much to be desired as Matt Cooke was given a 5-minute major and tossed from the game in the second period on a questionable kneeing call. Then the 5 consecutive calls against the Caps in third leading to the game deciding goal. For the game the Caps were assessed 41 penalty minutes to Boston's 21. This is the second game in a row in which I have questioned the officiating. The question in my mind is are the Caps that dirty a team or is there something to do with the officials? Since the Caps are the second least penalized team in the league, I have to think it's not because the Caps are dirty. That not withstanding, the Caps lost some important points in the standings and will now face Pittsburgh at home. Look for some angry Caps in that one.

Of Note:
  • The Capitals goal was scored by Brooks Laich. While on the power play he drove the net after an Alex Ovechkin shot and stashed the puck on a rebound. Laich has 16 goals on the season. Ovechkin and Poti received assists on the play.
  • Ovechkin's assist ties him with Alan Haworth for #26 on the Caps All-Time Assist list.
  • Cristobal Huet played well in goal stopping 26 of 28 shots with the Bruins on the power play for 14:10.
  • The game started off rough as the Bruins were still a little upset about Monday's 10-2 loss to Washington. Matt Bradley and Milan Lucic fought just 5-seconds into the game. Donald Brashear and Shawn Thornton squared off 9-seconds later.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats



Friday, March 7, 2008

Game #69 Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins

Where: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA

When: March 8, 2008, 1:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 6-4-1-1
Caps Game 69 Record: 14-15-1-1
All-Time vs. BOS: 34-60-21-6
Last Season vs. BOS: 0-0-4
Last Meeting: 3/3/08, WAS 10 BOS 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 32-28-8
Standings Points: 72
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 3/5/08, WAS 3 BUF 1
Streak: Won 2

BOS Record: 35-25-7
Standings Points: 77
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 7th
Last Game: 3/6/08, BOS 2 TOR 8
Streak: Loss 3

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: 24 COOKE,
15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR,
21 LAICH, 14 FEHR
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 4 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG, 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Boston
Forward Line 1: 11 AXELSSON, 91 SAVARD, 27 MURRAY
Forward Line 2: 16 STURM, 13 METROPOLIT, 81 KESSEL
Forward Line 3: 72 SCHAEFER, 46 KREJCI, 12 KOBASEW
Forward Line 4: 17 LUCIC, 56 NOKELAINEN, 22 THORNTON
Defense Pair 1: 6 WIDEMAN, 33 CHARA
Defense Pair 2: 21 FERENCE, 44 WARD
Defense Pair 3: 45 STUART, 34 HNIDY
Goalie: 29 AULD
Back-up Goalie: 30 THOMAS

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 39 STECKEL (broken finger)
Boston – 37 BERGERON (concussion, broken nose) IR, 36 ZHAMNOV (ankle) IR, 35 FERNANDEZ (knee) IR, 36 ZHAMNOV (ankle) IR

Caps Milestones:
Tom Poti needs 4 Shots on Goal to reach 1,100 for his career
Alex Ovechkin needs 6 Goals to reach 60 for this season
Alex Ovechkin needs 8 points to reach 100 for this season
Alex Ovechkin needs 10 Points to reach 300 for his career

Preview:
The Capitals go into Boston for a rematch of Monday’s match up that saw Washington crush Boston 10-2. The teams have gone in different directions since that game. The Caps won in Buffalo on Wednesday while the Bruins were shutout in Florida for a 1-0 overtime loss on Tuesday and were walloped again last night 8-2 by Toronto. The Bruins will want payback for the beating administer by the Caps but after this week I don’t know if they have it in them. The Caps will most likely bring the same lineup into Boston and I don’t expect the outcome to be quite as severe but the Caps should win this one. Hopefully they can avoid the temptation to look forward to Sunday’s match up with Pittsburgh because a win over Boston is worth the same in the standings as a win over the Pens.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 BOS 2

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