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

Official Preview




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