Monday, March 31, 2008

Game #80 Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: April 1, 2008, 7:00 PM

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:

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

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

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.

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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