Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Good Job Bruce

Washington Capitals Head Coach has been named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for the Coach of the Year. Way to go Bruce!

Per The AP:

TORONTO (AP) -- Bruce Boudreau, who took over in November and led the Washington Capitals to a division title, was selected one of the finalists for the Jack Adams Award, given to NHL's coach of the year.

Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings and Guy Carbonneau of the Montreal Canadiens were the other finalists Wednesday.

Boudreau took over for the fired Glen Hanlon on Nov. 22 when the Capitals were last in the Eastern Conference with a 6-14-1 record. The Capitals, who were 37-17-7 under Boudreau, closed the season with seven straight victories to win Southeast Division.

Carbonneau, in his second season, led the Canadiens to their first 45-win and 100-point season in 15 years, first division title in 17 years, first Eastern Conference title in 19 years and best road record (25-12-4) in 29 years.

Babcock posted his third consecutive 50-win season with the Red Wings, who won the Presidents' Trophy for the top regular-season record with 115 points.

The award is voted on by members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association.

The winner will be announced June 12 at the NHL awards ceremony in Toronto.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ovechkin is All Hart

The Hart Memorial Trophy is given to the player who is judged to be the most valuable to his team. There was no one more deserving than Alex Ovechkin this year. His stats are impressive 82 games played 65 goals, 47 assists for 112 points. He ranked 1st in the NHL in points, goals, power play goals, game-winning goals, shots on goal, and missed shots. He was also 7th in the league with a plus-28 rating, 9th in hits, and 9th in takeaways. Not to mention leading his team from last place to a Division Championship and the teams first playoff appearance in 5 long years. Ovechkin not only led the team statistically but emotionally as well. He absolutely loves this game and is a fierce competitor and the Caps would never have done so well without him. Kudos to Jarome Iginla and Evgeni Malkin for being named finalists, but this was Ovechkin's year.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Playoff Game #7 Recap - Capitals 2 Flyers 3 (OT)

Unfortunately, the Caps fall to the Flyers in overtime 3-2. What an incredible ride it was! Thank You for a unforgettable year and we'll see you in the playoffs next year.

Playoff Game #7 Washington Capitals vs Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: April 22, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Regular Season All-Time vs. PHI: 64-92-19-0
Regular Season All-Time Road Record vs. PHI: 28-55-6-0
Playoff Series Record vs. PHI: 2-1
Playoff Game Record vs. PHI: 12-10
Last Playoff Series vs. PHI: 1999: WAS 2W PHI 4W

This Year:
WAS Record: 43-31-8
Standings Points: 94
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd

PHI Record: 42-29-11
Standings Points: 95
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 6th

2007-08 Regular Season
Game 1: 11/2/07, WAS 2 PHI 3
Game 2: 11/23/07, WAS 4 PHI 3
Game 3: 1/13/08, WAS 4 PHI 6
Game 4: 2/6/08, WAS 4 PHI 3

2007-2008 Playoff Series
Game 1: 4/11/08, WAS 5 PHI 4
Game 2: 4/13/08, WAS 0 PHI 2
Game 3: 4/15/08, WAS 3 PHI 6
Game 4: 4/17/08, WAS 3 PHI 4 (2OT)
Game 5: 4/19/08, WAS 3 PHI 2
Game 6: 4/21/08, WAS 4 PHI 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: 14 FEHR, 39 STECKEL, 21 LAICH
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Philadelphia
Forward Line 1: 40 PROSPAL, 18 RICHARDS, 15 LUPUL
Forward Line 2: 19 HARTNELL, 48 BRIERE, 9 UPSHALL
Forward Line 3: 20 UMBERGER, 17 CARTER, 24 KAPANEN
Forward Line 4: 32 COTE, 34 DOWD, 25 THORESEN
Defense Pair 1: 21 SMITH, 26 MODRY
Defense Pair 2: 5 COBURN, 44 TIMONEN
Defense Pair 3: 6 JONES, 2 HATCHER
Goalie: 43 BIRON
Back-up Goalie: 30 NIITTYMAKI

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, SCHULTZ (upper body) DTD
Philadelphia – 12 GAGNE (concussion) IR, 3 RATHJE (hip/back) IR, 22 KNUBLE (hamstring) DTD

Preview:
The Caps forced Game 7 with their 4-2 victory last night. Alex Ovechkin lit up the net in the third period with two goals and the Caps scratched back from a 2-goal deficit to score 4 straight goals. Both teams will be tired but the Caps need to take advantage of the momentum of the win last night and get on the Flyers early. Look for the team to continuing to get the puck in deep and take advantage of the size and speed advantage because the Flyers have been vulnerable in this area. They also need to keep out of the penalty box. Both Flyers goals last game came on the power play. The team will be pumped and the fans will be going crazy and I think this will be the best performance by the Caps in the series.

Joe’s Prediction: Caps 4 PHI 1


Monday, April 21, 2008

Playoff Game #6 Recap - Capitals 4 Flyers 2

The Flyers nightmare came into being as the time bomb went off. Alex Ovechkin scored 2 third period goals and Washington defeated Philly 4-2 sending the series back to Washington for Game 7. After giving up the first two goals, the Caps took the game over after a brilliant passing play by Brooks Laich, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom ended up in the Flyers net. Then a booming slapshot from John Erskine left a juicy rebound
that Semin deposited in the net to tie the game. A little over two minutes into the third period, Viktor Kozlov hit Ovechkin with a stretch pass and he beat Biron on a breakaway to give the Caps the lead 3-2 (see photo). The Caps didn't make it easy for themselves as they took a couple of penalties but were able to kill off a Philly 5-on-3 advantage. The Flyers were then sited for a too many men on the ice penalty. Sergei Fedorov made a nice chip pass to Brooks Laich in the high slot. As the defense drew to him he passed the puck to Ovechkin who blasted a one-timer into the net for a two goal lead. The Caps held off a late rush by the Flyers and the two teams meet again tomorrow in Washington for a deciding Game 7.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin pumped 9 shots on goal for the game and scored 2 goals including his second game-winning goal of the series.
  • Backstrom and Semin each had a goal and an assist each. Brooks Laich recorded 2 assists.
  • Kozlov, Fedorov, and Erskine each had one assist.
  • Erskine and Steve Eminger were both a plus-3 for the game. Erskine also had a game high 5 hits.
  • The Caps out shot the Flyers 40-35 but were out drawn 35-27.
  • After a tough start Cristobal Huet was solid in goal with 33 saves.
  • In a rare occurrence both Ovechkin and Donald Brashear were held without a hit.
Official Summary
Game Summary
Super Stats

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Playoff Game #6 Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA

When: April 21, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Regular Season All-Time vs. PHI: 64-92-19-0
Regular Season All-Time Road Record vs. PHI: 28-55-6-0
Playoff Series Record vs. PHI: 2-1
Playoff Game Record vs. PHI: 11-10
Last Playoff Series vs. PHI: 1999: WAS 2W PHI 4W

This Year:
WAS Record: 43-31-8
Standings Points: 94
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd

PHI Record: 42-29-11
Standings Points: 95
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 6th

2007-08 Regular Season
Game 1: 11/2/07, WAS 2 PHI 3
Game 2: 11/23/07, WAS 4 PHI 3
Game 3: 1/13/08, WAS 4 PHI 6
Game 4: 2/6/08, WAS 4 PHI 3

2007-2008 Playoff Series
Game 1: 4/11/08, WAS 5 PHI 4
Game 2: 4/13/08, WAS 0 PHI 2
Game 3: 4/15/08, WAS 3 PHI 6
Game 4: 4/17/08, WAS 3 PHI 4 (2OT)
Game 5: 4/19/08, WAS 3 PHI 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: 14 FEHR, 39 STECKEL, 21 LAICH
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Philadelphia
Forward Line 1: 40 PROSPAL, 18 RICHARDS, 15 LUPUL
Forward Line 2: 19 HARTNELL, 48 BRIERE, 9 UPSHALL
Forward Line 3: 20 UMBERGER, 17 CARTER, 24 KAPANEN
Forward Line 4: 32 COTE, 34 DOWD, 25 THORESEN
Defense Pair 1: 21 SMITH, 26 MODRY
Defense Pair 2: 5 COBURN, 44 TIMONEN
Defense Pair 3: 6 JONES, 2 HATCHER
Goalie: 43 BIRON
Back-up Goalie: 30 NIITTYMAKI

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, SCHULTZ (upper body) DTD
Philadelphia – 12 GAGNE (concussion) IR, 3 RATHJE (hip/back) IR, 22 KNUBLE (hamstring) DTD

Preview:
The Caps desire to win was underestimated by the Flyers on Saturday. The Caps beat them and now they head back to Philly for Game 6. The Caps must come with the same intensity and be ready for a much better effort from the Flyers. The big question to be answered is when will Alex Ovechkin regain his scoring touch? I mean he’s only averaging 1 point-per-game in the series. I’m sure the Flyers are thinking the same thing and want to win the series before the time-bomb goes off and Ovie starts hitting the twine. Look for this one to be another incredibly physical game and I think the Ovechkin legend will grow with this upcoming performance.

Joe’s Prediction: Caps 5 PHI 3

Official Preview



Saturday, April 19, 2008

Playoff Game #5 Recap - Capitals 3 Flyers 2

Washington came away with a 3-2 victory over the Flyers to stay in the playoff series. The Caps came out with a physical first period and took the play to Philly. Alexander Semin and John Erskine took roughing penalties 36-second into the period when they took exception to the Flyers play in the crease. The Caps killed off the penalty and kept bringing lumber. Later in the first the Caps got a 5-on-3 advantage, Semin made a crisp cross ice pass to Nicklas Backstrom who put the Caps up by one. In the second period, Viktor Kozlov dug the puck out of the corner and made a beautiful feed to Sergei Fedorov who made it 2-0. The Flyers responded with their own 5-on-3 goal for a 2-1 score after 2 periods. It the third the Flyers stepped up the play but, Semin, on the power play with 3 Caps crashing the net, fired a shot by the screened Flyers goaltender giving the Caps a two goal lead. The Flyers came right back with a goal from Darian Hatcher but that was all Philly could muster. The teams meet again Monday night in Philly.

Of Note:
  • Alexander Semin, Sergei Fedorov, and Mike Green had multi-point games. Semin and Fedorov had a goal and an assist each. Green chipped in with 2 assists. Nicklas Backstrom had a goal, and Viktor Kozlov and Brooks Laich each had one assist.
  • Cristobal Huet stopped 30 of 32 shots including 20 of 21 in the third period.
  • The Caps were out shot 32-26, out drawn 29-24 in face-offs but out hit Philly 44-38. Only 2 Caps skaters finished the game without a hit. Donald Brashear led the team with 7 hits in just under 7-minutes of ice time.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Friday, April 18, 2008

Playoff Game #5 Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Verizon Center, Philadelphia, PA

When: April 19, 2008, 1:00 PM

History:
Regular Season All-Time vs. PHI: 64-92-19-0
Regular Season All-Time Road Record vs. PHI: 28-55-6-0
Playoff Series Record vs. PHI: 2-1
Playoff Game Record vs. PHI: 10-10
Last Playoff Series vs. PHI: 1999: WAS 2W PHI 4W

This Year:
WAS Record: 43-31-8
Standings Points: 94
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd

PHI Record: 42-29-11
Standings Points: 95
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 6th

2007-08 Regular Season
Game 1: 11/2/07, WAS 2 PHI 3
Game 2: 11/23/07, WAS 4 PHI 3
Game 3: 1/13/08, WAS 4 PHI 6
Game 4: 2/6/08, WAS 4 PHI 3

2007-2008 Playoff Series
Game 1: 4/11/08, WAS 5 PHI 4
Game 2: 4/13/08, WAS 0 PHI 2
Game 3: 4/15/08, WAS 3 PHI 6
Game 4: 4/17/08, WAS 3 PHI 4 (2OT)

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: 14 FEHR, 39 STECKEL, 21 LAICH
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Philadelphia
Forward Line 1: 40 PROSPAL, 18 RICHARDS, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 19 HARTNELL, 48 BRIERE, 15 LUPUL
Forward Line 3: 20 UMBERGER, 17 CARTER, 9 UPSHALL
Forward Line 4: 32 COTE, 34 DOWD, 24 KAPANEN
Defense Pair 1: 21 SMITH, 26 MODRY
Defense Pair 2: 5 COBURN, 44 TIMONEN
Defense Pair 3: 6 JONES, 2 HATCHER
Goalie: 43 BIRON
Back-up Goalie: 30 NIITTYMAKI

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, SCHULTZ (upper body) DTD
Philadelphia – 12 GAGNE (concussion) IR, 3 RATHJE (hip/back) IR

Preview:
It’s must-win time now if the Caps want to win to remain to stay alive in this series. The series has been almost a mirror image of the regular season. The Caps took the opening game and there was nothing but high hopes for the team. Then two games that had had everyone asking what is wrong with this team. Finally the last game, they did everything but win. Now with their back against the wall they need to win out to survive. The Caps have matured greatly this season, even more so in this playoff series. It’s time to let that experience payoff. If they just play the game the way they can, they will pull off a victory in Game 5. We’ll worry about the rest of the games later. So boys, go out there and get us a win.

Joe’s Prediction: Caps 4 PHI 1

Official Preview




Playoff Game #4 Recap - Capitals 3 Flyers 4 (2OT)

The Washington Capitals played their best game thus far in the playoffs, but a goal by the Flyers in double overtime sent them to a 3-games to 1 series deficit. The Caps played with much more purpose and focus last night. The power play clicked for two goals and they controlled play for long stretches. Now the Caps are in a familiar situation, win or they are out of the playoffs. Lets hope they can put together one more run to overcome the situation. Game 5 is Saturday and I want to see the same effort with a better outcome.

Of Note:
  • Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Steve Eminger scored their first career playoff goals for the Caps.
  • Alex Ovechkin had 2 assists and 10 hits on the night.
  • The Caps now have a 13-18 record in playoff overtime games, and a 2-7 record in multiple overtime overtime games.
  • The Caps were out shot 46-41 and out drawn 44-41 in face-offs.
  • Cristobal Huet gave an inspired effort with several amazing saves. Overall he stopped 42 of 46 shots.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Playoff Game #4 Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA

When: April 17, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Regular Season All-Time vs. PHI: 64-92-19-0
Regular Season All-Time Road Record vs. PHI: 28-55-6-0
Playoff Series Record vs. PHI: 2-1
Playoff Game Record vs. PHI: 10-9
Last Playoff Series vs. PHI: 1999: WAS 2W PHI 4W

This Year:
WAS Record: 43-31-8
Standings Points: 94
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd

PHI Record: 42-29-11
Standings Points: 95
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 6th

2007-08 Regular Season
Game 1: 11/2/07, WAS 2 PHI 3
Game 2: 11/23/07, WAS 4 PHI 3
Game 3: 1/13/08, WAS 4 PHI 6
Game 4: 2/6/08, WAS 4 PHI 3

2007-2008 Playoff Series
Game 1: 4/11/08, WAS 5 PHI 4
Game 2: 4/13/08, WAS 0 PHI 2
Game 3: 4/15/08, WAS 3 PHI 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: 14 FEHR, 39 STECKEL, 21 LAICH
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Philadelphia
Forward Line 1: 40 PROSPAL, 18 RICHARDS, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 19 HARTNELL, 48 BRIERE, 15 LUPUL
Forward Line 3: 20 UMBERGER, 17 CARTER, 9 UPSHALL
Forward Line 4: 32 COTE, 34 DOWD, 24 KAPANEN
Defense Pair 1: 21 SMITH, 26 MODRY
Defense Pair 2: 5 COBURN, 44 TIMONEN
Defense Pair 3: 6 JONES, 2 HATCHER
Goalie: 43 BIRON
Back-up Goalie: 30 NIITTYMAKI

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, SCHULTZ (upper body) DTD
Philadelphia – 12 GAGNE (concussion) IR, 3 RATHJE (hip/back) IR

Preview:
Game 4 is another must win for the Capitals, well not exactly an elimination game, but it will be a mighty hill to climb if they don’t. If they do win, the series is even - with three games remaining. The Capitals have not played a complete game thus far in the series. There are a couple of glaring areas that need addressing. They need to find a way to get more rubber on the Flyer net. In the first three games in the series the Caps have taken 70 shots on goal, whereas in the final 3 games of the regular season they took 117. I also think they should have Rod Langway come give the defensemen a lesson on clearing out the crease or that Cristobal Huet should do a nice two handed Hextall impersonation on Scotty Upshall. Either way, the team needs to make the Flyers pay for coming into the goalie’s area. This is hockey not a tickling competition! The Caps have been far too lenient with allowing our goalie to be run into. I will be looking for the Capitals to come out hard and play up to their capabilities in Game 4. I believe they are better than the Flyers but the team needs to believe it. If they do then they will beat the Flyers if not better get a tee time.

Joe’s Prediction: Caps 4 PHI 2 & at least one bout for The Donald

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Playoff Game #3 Recap - Capitals 3 Flyers 6

The Flyers took a 2-1 series lead with a 6-3 defeat of the Capitals last night. The Capitals could not generate any sustained offensive pressure and when they did they could only muster 19 shots on goal. This from a team that averaged over 30 per game in the regular season. The Caps are by no means dead in this series but the outlook does not seem to be positive. The team looks frustrated and tentative. Their play is tight and they have been turning the puck over in critical moments. Last night they recorded 17 giveaways as opposed to 5 takeaways. To further trouble the Caps, Jeff Schultz re-injured his "upper body injury" and was only able to play 2:23 last night. Then a parade to penalty box by defensemen caused Coach Boudreau to play Sergei Fedorov on defense rather than his normal center. So this brings up the some big questions for Game 4, who will play in goal, who will replace Shultz, and what can be done to spark the offense? We shall see as Game 4 is Thursday in Philly at 7PM.

Of Note:
  • The Caps had 19 shots on goal but had 25 shots blocked and missed another 18. Alex Ovechkin led the team with 4 shots on goal.
  • Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr each scored the first playoff goals of their careers. Mike Green scored his third of the series.
  • Donald Brashear made a Gretzky like play from behind the net to set up Fehr's goal. Nice work by the Donald.
  • Other players recording assists were Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Shaone Morrisonn, Dave Steckel, and Green.
  • Cristobal Huet had another tough night stopping 27 of 32 shots and giving up a penalty shot goal to Mike Richards with 3-minutes left in the game.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Playoff Game #3 Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA

When: April 15, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Regular Season All-Time vs. PHI: 64-92-19-0
Regular Season All-Time Road Record vs. PHI: 28-55-6-0
Playoff Series Record vs. PHI: 2-1
Playoff Game Record vs. PHI: 10-8
Last Playoff Series vs. PHI: 1999: WAS 2W PHI 4W

This Year:
WAS Record: 43-31-8
Standings Points: 94
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd

PHI Record: 42-29-11
Standings Points: 95
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 6th

2007-08 Regular Season
Game 1: 11/2/07, WAS 2 PHI 3
Game 2: 11/23/07, WAS 4 PHI 3
Game 3: 1/13/08, WAS 4 PHI 6
Game 4: 2/6/08, WAS 4 PHI 3

2007-2008 Playoff Series
Game 1: 4/11/08, WAS 5 PHI 4
Game 2: 4/13/08, WAS 0 PHI 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, 39 STECKEL, 21 LAICH
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: 4 ERSKINE, 23 JURCINA
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Philadelphia
Forward Line 1: 40 PROSPAL, 18 RICHARDS, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 19 HARTNELL, 48 BRIERE, 15 LUPUL
Forward Line 3: 20 UMBERGER, 17 CARTER, 9 UPSHALL
Forward Line 4: 32 COTE, 34 DOWD, 24 KAPANEN
Defense Pair 1: 21 SMITH, 26 MODRY
Defense Pair 2: 5 COBURN, 44 TIMONEN
Defense Pair 3: 6 JONES, 28 KUKKONEN
Goalie: 43 BIRON
Back-up Goalie: 30 NIITTYMAKI

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
Philadelphia – 21 SMITH (upper body) DTD, 48 BRIERE (knee) DTD, 12 GAGNE (concussion) IR, 3 RATHJE (hip/back) IR, 25 THORESEN (groin) DTD

Preview:
The Capitals took it on the chin in Game 2 and look to rebound in Game 3. The Flyers outworked, outshot, and outplayed the Caps on Sunday. The Caps looked tired and frustrated and will need to figure out how to get back into their system as the Flyers are using the clog the neutral zone defense. The Caps had won 8 straight games prior to Sunday’s loss, but luckily for them it’s a seven game series and hopefully this will come as a wakeup call. The defense is playing well but the team is going to need help from the third and fourth lines as it did in Game 1. Look for a more balanced attack in Game 3 and more commitment to the system. The Caps need to get back to what got them there in the first place.

Joe’s Prediction: Caps 3 PHI 2

Official Preview




Monday, April 14, 2008

Playoff Game #2 Recap - Capitals 0 Flyers 2

It was bound to happen. The Washington Capitals were beaten for the first time in 9-games on Sunday. The Flyers scored two first period goals and that would be all they needed. The good thing is they live to play another day. After so many do or die games the team looked tired and frustrated. They didn't have that get up and go and were losing most of the small battles for the puck. They managed only 24 shots on goal and went 0-6 on th power play. On the bright side, they held Philly 0-5 on the power play and Cristobal Huet stopped 39 of 41 shots to keep them in the game. It was just one of those days for the Capitals as scoring chances were hard to come by and they couldn't convert the ones they generated. The boys need to go get some rest as the teams meet again Tuesday in Philly.

Of Note:
  • The Caps were out shot 41-24 and out drawn in face-offs 33-26. Led in hits 32-25 but committed 18 turnovers.
  • Alex Ovechkin led the team with 5 hits, 5 shots on goals, and all forwards with 26:45 of ice time.
  • Milan Jurcina and Shaone Morrisonn each had 3 blocked shots each.
  • That's all I got on this one.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Playoff Game #2 Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: April 13, 2008, 2:00 PM

History:
Regular Season All-Time vs. PHI: 64-92-19-0
Regular Season All-Time Home Record vs. PHI: 36-37-13-0
Playoff Series Record vs. PHI: 2-1
Playoff Game Record vs. PHI: 10-7
Last Playoff Series vs. PHI: 1999: WAS 2W PHI 4W

This Year:
WAS Record: 43-31-8
Standings Points: 94
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd

PHI Record: 42-29-11
Standings Points: 95
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 6th

2007-08 Regular Season
Game 1: 11/2/07, WAS 2 PHI 3
Game 2: 11/23/07, WAS 4 PHI 3
Game 3: 1/13/08, WAS 4 PHI 6
Game 4: 2/6/08, WAS 4 PHI 3

2007-2008 Playoff Series
Game 1: 4/11/08, WAS 5 PHI 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, 39 STECKEL, 21 LAICH
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: 4 ERSKINE, 23 JURCINA
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Philadelphia
Forward Line 1: 40 PROSPAL, 18 RICHARDS, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 19 HARTNELL, 48 BRIERE, 15 LUPUL
Forward Line 3: 20 UMBERGER, 17 CARTER, 9 UPSHALL
Forward Line 4: 32 COTE, 34 DOWD, 24 KAPANEN
Defense Pair 1: 21 SMITH, 26 MODRY
Defense Pair 2: 5 COBURN, 44 TIMONEN
Defense Pair 3: 6 JONES, 28 KUKKONEN
Goalie: 43 BIRON
Back-up Goalie: 30 NIITTYMAKI

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
Philadelphia – 21 SMITH (upper body) DTD, 48 BRIERE (knee) DTD, 12 GAGNE (concussion) IR, 3 RATHJE (hip/back) IR, 25 THORESEN (groin) DTD

Preview:
Game 1 was all it was cracked up to be with lots of hits, end to end play, and lots of scoring. The Capitals made a big comeback in the third period to erase a 2-goal deficit and Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winner. Look for the Flyers to clamp down on Ovechkin even more in this one. He was held without a shot for the first two periods but was laying the lumber with 8 recorded hits. The Caps will be getting Jeff Schultz back on defense so either Erskine or Eminger will most likely be sat out. Personally, I think Erskine will sit just on the basis of speed. I also think that Game 2 will be even faster than Game 1. Schultz finished the regular season with a plus-12 rating and is a steadying, defensive defenseman. Look for the Caps to come out extremely strong in the first period as they got their first playoff game jitters out of the way. They will continue to forecheck hard and force the play and look for Cristobal Huet to come up big as the Flyers try to take this one.

Joe’s Prediction: Caps 5 PHI 2


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Friday, April 11, 2008

Playoff Game #1 Recap - Capitals 5 Flyers 4

What a game by the Washington Capitals. Alex Ovechkin scores the game-winning goal late in the 3rd period. And who had Donald Brashear scoring the first goal of the series? No, really, you didn't. Just as advertised the game was fast paced and hard hitting. The teams traded goals in the first period. In the second period, the Caps took the lead early on a precise snap shot from David Steckel. The Flyers replied with 3 consecutive goals to take a 4-2 lead into the 2nd intermission. It was looking bleak going into the third when Mike Green, who had not been having a particularly good game, stepped up on the play and took an amazing feed from Sergei Fedorov and buried a shot a minute and fifty seconds into the period. With Daniel Briere in the box for a high sticking penalty, Green fired a slap shot from the point that was blocked by a Philly defender. The Flyer stayed down obviously hurt by the Caps kept the play alive and Green fired another slapper into the net to tie the game. That set the stage for Ovechkin who, with a little over four minutes left, stripped the puck from a Philly defender, held onto the puck until the goalie went down and beat him with a shot to the roof. An unbelievable unassisted goal to put the caps back in the lead. The team then held off the mad Flyer rush and take a 1-0 series lead.

Of Note:
  • Along with Alex Ovechkin, John Erskine, Boyd Gordon, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Milan Jucina, Shaone Morrisonn, Alexander Semin, David Steckel, Tomas Fleischmann, Steve Eminger, and Mike Green played their first NHL playoff game. Sergei Fedorov played in his 163rd.
  • Ovechkin, and Backstrom had assist on Green's second goal. Semin and Fedorov assisted on Green's first.
  • The Caps out shot Philly 27-22 and won the face-off battle 36-26.
  • Matt Bradley recorded 2 assists. Tom Poti and John Erskine also recored one assist each.
  • The Caps recored 40 hits to the Flyers 36. Ovechkin led the way with 8 hits followed by Bradley with 7.
  • It was the third win in the playoffs for Cristobal Huet.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Playoff Game #1 Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: April 11, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Regular Season All-Time vs. PHI: 64-92-19-0
Regular Season All-Time Home Record vs. PHI: 36-37-13-0
Playoff Series Record vs. PHI: 2-1
Playoff Game Record vs. PHI: 9-7
Last Playoff Series vs. PHI: 1999: WAS 2W PHI 4W

This Year:
WAS Record: 43-31-8
Standings Points: 94
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd

PHI Record: 42-29-11
Standings Points: 95
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 6th

2007-08 Regular Season
Game 1: 11/2/07, WAS 2 PHI 3
Game 2: 11/23/07, WAS 4 PHI 3
Game 3: 1/13/08, WAS 4 PHI 6
Game 4: 2/6/08, WAS 4 PHI 3

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, 39 STECKEL, 21 LAICH
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: 4 ERSKINE, 23 JURCINA
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Philadelphia
Forward Line 1: 40 PROSPAL, 18 RICHARDS, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 19 HARTNELL, 48 BRIERE, 15 LUPUL
Forward Line 3: 25 THORESEN, 17 CARTER, 9 UPSHALL
Forward Line 4: 32 COTE, 20 UMBERGER, 24 KAPANEN
Defense Pair 1: 21 SMITH, 26 MODRY
Defense Pair 2: 5 COBURN, 44 TIMONEN
Defense Pair 3: 6 JONES, 28 KUKKONEN
Goalie: 43 BIRON
Back-up Goalie: 30 NIITTYMAKI

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR
Philadelphia – 21 SMITH (upper body) DTD, 48 BRIERE (knee) DTD, 12 GAGNE (concussion) IR, 3 RATHJE (hip/back) IR

Preview:
The Capitals open the first round of the playoffs with their old friends the Philadelphia Flyers. This time, however, 24 members of both teams will be getting their first taste of the playoffs. No doubt this game will start with a feverish pace as both teams want to make a physical statement. The Caps will press with their pressure offence and try to force turnovers deep in the Philly end while the Flyers will try and tame, the NHL leading goal scorer and point getter, Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin has played 12 regular season games against the Flyers and scored a staggering 21 points and has scored at least one goal in 10 of the 12 meetings. Another key matchup will be the goalies as Martin Biron will go up against Cristobal Huet. Huet finished the regular season with a 9-game winning streak and was one of the major reasons the Caps made it into the playoffs. Biron was not shabby down the stretch either posting a 10-4-4 record in his last 18 decisions. Both Coaches are making their playoff debut in the NHL. Both coached in the AHL prior to coming to the NHL and both have the AHL Championship Calder Cup on their resume. It should be a close exciting series. Now let’s get it on!!

Joe’s Prediction: Caps 4 PHI 3

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Morrisonn and Schultz Back at Practice


According to Corey Masisak, of the Washington Times, both Shaone Morrisonn and Jeff Schultz were back at practice and preparing for the Caps opening round of the playoffs against Philadelphia. Here is Corey's report:

"The gang's back together (update)

And I'm not talking about my return from a day trip to vivacious Voorhees, N.J. The Caps are on the ice warming up for practice, and both Shaone Morrisonn and Jeff Schultz are out on the ice. Sami Lepisto and Tyler Sloan are also still here, so it is a crowded blue line.

Don't know if this is really an indication of anything or not, but Morrisonn is back in his normal spot alongside Mike Green during these opening drills while Schultz has been working in with the two new guys. The lines are the same as yesterday. Both Chris Clark and Michael Nylander were out on the ice before practice.

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Semin-Fedorov-Cooke
Fleischmann-Laich-Gordon-Fehr
Brashear-Steckel-Bradely-Laing

Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Jurcina
Erskine-Eminger
Schultz-Lepsito-Sloan

Huet-Kozlig

UPDATE (12:35): Both Morrisonn and Schultz said they feel better today than they did yesterday. Niether was ready to commit to playing Friday, but it is safe to surmise they are close and could be back before the series gets too far along. Schultz said he was able to do some extra things on the ice that he didn't do yesterday, and Morrisonn said he wasn't even suppose to join his teammates for practice today so he is further along than expected.

I asked a few of the guys who have been in the playoffs about their memories of their first experience. Almost all of them lost in the first round, but defenseman Tom Poti said that was more of a coincidence than anything. They all had some pretty good stuff to say, and I think some of them might end up in the paper tomorrow."

Lets hope for a speedy recovery for these two defensemen.



Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Previews - Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

For all the information you could ever want on the 1st Round match up between the Caps and the Flyers, here are links to a few media outlet previews:
That should be enough to get you started. Friday seems so far away.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Tampa Wins the 2008 Draft Lottery




The NHL held its annual draft lottery tonight. With the worst record this season the Tampa Bay Lightning had a 48% chance to get the #1 overall pick. It was Tampa's lucky night as the ping-pong balls bounced their way and they will draft first. Here is the draft order for the non-playoff teams:
  1. Tampa Bay Lightning
  2. Los Angeles Kings
  3. Atlanta Thrashers
  4. St. Louis Blues
  5. New York Islanders
  6. Columbus Blue Jackets
  7. Toronto Maple Leafs
  8. Phoenix Coyotes
  9. Nashville Predators - From Florida
  10. Vancouver Canucks
  11. Anaheim Ducks - From Edmonton
  12. Buffalo Sabres
  13. Carolina Hurricanes

Washington Capitals Playoff Schedule 1st Round

Here is the Schedule for the Capitals first round playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers:

Game 1: 4/11/08, 7:00 PM, at Washington
Game 2: 4/13/08, 2:00 PM, at Washington
Game 3: 4/15/08, 7:00 PM, at Philadelphia
Game 4: 4/17/08, 7:00 PM, at Philadelphia
Game 5: 4/19/08, 1:00 PM, at Washington
Game 6: 4/21/08, 7:00, at Philadelphia*
Game 7: 4/22/08, 7:00, at Washington*
* if required

Full Playoff Schedule




Sunday, April 6, 2008

Game #82 Recap - Capitals 3 Panthers 1

The stage had been set, all things had fallen into place, and the Capitals delivered. With a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers the Capitals claim the Southeast Division Championship and spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The team looked tight in the beginning but at the 7:19 mark of the first period, an aggressive forecheck by Brooks Laich got the puck to Tomas Fleischmann who went straight to the net a beat the goalie for a 1-0 lead. In the second period Florida tied the game on a reviewed power play goal that just trickled over the goal line. Later in the period Alexander Semin hit Sergei Fedorov with a perfect cross ice pass. Fedorov skated into the offensive zone a fired a slap shot by the goalie to regain the lead. In the third period, with the Caps on the power play, Niclas Backstrom passed the puck to Semin in the high slot. Semin waited and blasted the puck into the net for a 3-1 lead. The Caps held the Panthers to 5 shot in the third period and Caps goaltender Cristobal Huet won his 9th consecutive game.

Of Note:
  • Sergei Fedorov's game-winning goal was his first of the season and the 91st of his career.
  • Nicklas Backstrom had 1 assist for 55 on the year and broke the Capitals single season rookie assist record. Alex Ovechkin had set the record in 2005-06 with 54 assists.
  • Ovechkin was held off the scoreboard but had 5 shots on goal, 5 shots blocked, and 3 missed shots. With the 3 missed shots he passes Peter Bondra for most missed shots recored in club history (the stat has only been recored from 1997-98 to 2001-02 and then from 2005-06 to present). On the year Ovechkin had 446 shots on goal. That ranks 2nd most in NHL history.
  • The Capitals out shot Florida 38-26 and out drew them in face-offs 29-27.
  • Cristobal Huet was 11-2-0 for the Caps with a 1.63 GAA and a .936 save percentage.
  • Head Coach Bruce Boudreau went 37-17-7 since taking over on Thanksgiving when he took over the team.
  • The Capitals will face either the Philadelphia Flyers or the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the playoffs.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats


Saturday, April 5, 2008

CAPS WIN SOUTHEAST DIVISION!!!!


The Capitals defeat Florida 3-1 to win the SE Division and make the Playoffs as the #3 seed!!!

Lets Go Caps !!!


Friday, April 4, 2008

Game #82 Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: April 5, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 7-4-1-1
Caps Game 82 Record: 6-6-0-1
All-Time vs. FLA: 35-29-9-6
All-Time Home Record vs. FLA: 18-11-5-5
Last Season vs. FLA: 3-3-2
Last Meeting: 3/28/08, WAS 3 FLA 0

This Year:
WAS Record: 42-31-8
Standings Points: 92
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 9th
Last Game: 4/1/08, WAS 4 CAR 1
Streak: Won 5

FLA Record: 38-34-9
Standings Points: 83
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 4/2/08, TAM 2 CAR 6
Streak: Won 1

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
Game 7: 3/28/08, WAS 3 FLA 0

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: 23 JURCINA, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Florida
Forward Line 1: 10 BOOTH, 53 MCLEAN, 16 HORTON
Forward Line 2: 85 OLESZ, 9 WEISS, 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, 26 MORRISONN (upper body) DTD
Florida – 20 ZEDNIK (neck laceration) IR, 17 MURRAY (shoulder) IR, 26 VAN RYN (wrist) IR, 27 WELCH (shoulder) IR

Caps Milestones:
Viktor Kozlov needs 4 points to reach 500 in his career.
John Erskine needs 1 PIM to reach 500 in his career.

Preview:
The Capitals welcome Florida to the Phone Booth for the final game of the regular season. The Panthers have put Washington in very good position after defeating Carolina Friday night. With a win or overtime loss the Capitals will win the SE Division and secure the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Caps are winners of 6 consecutive games and 10 of their last 11. This is no time for a letdown. The Caps need another inspired performance to propel them into the extra season. Look for the Caps to come out strong and try to take advantage of a tired Florida club. The whole season comes down to this game.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 FLA 2
The Wife thinks it might be a tight game: Caps 4 FLA 3

Official Preview




Game #81 Recap - Capitals 4 Lightning 1

The Capitals keep the playoff hopes alive as they prevail 4-1 over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The game didn't start as the Caps had planned. The Bolts scored in the first minute of play and Lightning goalie Kari Ramo stood on his head as the Caps fired 20 shots at him in the first period. Ramo stopped 19 of the 20 shots but was bested when Viktor Kozlov took the puck to the net and Alex Ovechkin shot the rebound that deflected off a Tampa defender into the net. The second period was very quiet with both teams trading power play chances. Then in the third the play really picked up. With the score still tied at 1-1, Vincent Lecavalier got the puck all alone in front of the crease. Caps goalie Cristobal Huet made an incredible save on the Lightning All-Star centerman. Later in the period Lacavalier was injured on a questionable hit by Matt Cooke at center ice. No penalty was called and in the ensuing play Tampa was called for cross checking. The Caps took advantage as Alex Ovechkin fire a shot from the top of the left wing circle beating Ramo and giving the Caps a 2-1 lead. Boyd Gordon added a goal after some good work along the boards and Tom Poti finished off the game with an empty netter. The win moves the Caps ahead of Philadelphia and into the 8th and final playoff spot for the moment. Philly plays tonight against New Jersey.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin scored goals 64 and 65 on the year. He set an NHL record for most goals in a season by a left wing. He also passed Kelly Miller and is now 10th on the Capitals All-Time goal scoring list. He also recored his 22nd power play goal of the year tying Peter Bondra's Capitals season record and got his 11th game-winning goal of the year.
  • The Caps out shot the Lightning 40-19 and out drew them in face-offs 33-21.
  • Mike Green and Viktor Kozlov had two assists each. Matt Bradley, Nicklas Backstrom, Matt Cooke and Sergei Fedorov each had one assist.
  • Cristobal Huet stopped 18 of 19 shots in his 7th consecutive victory. Since coming to the Caps, Huet is 10-2-0 with a 1.69 GAA and a 0.934 save percentage.
  • The Caps have won 6 straight games and 10 of their last 11. They have one more game on Saturday against the Florida Panthers. If the Boston vs. Ottawa game finishes in regulation tonight then the Caps will make the playoffs with a victory over Florida.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Game #81 Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: April 3, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 9-7-1-2
Caps Game 81 Record: 6-6-0-1
All-Time vs. TAM: 47-24-6-4
All-Time Home Record vs. TAM: 24-10-4-2
Last Season vs. TAM: 2-4-2
Last Meeting: 3/27/08, WAS 4 TAM 3 (OT)

This Year:
WAS Record: 41-31-8
Standings Points: 90
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 9th
Last Game: 4/1/08, WAS 4 CAR 1
Streak: Won 5

TAM Record: 31-40-9
Standings Points: 71
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 15th
Last Game: 4/2/08, TAM 2 CAR 6
Streak: Loss 2

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
Game 7: 3/27/08, WAS 4 TAM 3

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: 23 JURCINA, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 33 HUET
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Tampa
Forward Line 1: 10 JOKINEN, 4 LACAVALIER, 26 ST. LOUIS
Forward Line 2: 21 DARCHE, 11 HALPERN, 7 OUELLET
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: 32 SMABY, 39 LUNDIN
Goalie: 41 SMITH
Back-up Goalie: 31 RAMO

Injuries:
Washington – 17 CLARK (groin) DTD, 92 NYLANDER (shoulder) IR, 2 POTHIER (head) IR, 39 STECKEL (broken finger) DTD, 26 MORRISONN (upper body) DTD
Tampa – 34 CRAIG (knee) IR, 27 TAYLOR (hip) IR, 77 GRATTON (hip) IR, (knee) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Viktor Kozlov needs 6 points to reach 500 in his career.
John Erskine needs 5 PIM’s to reach 500 in his career.

Preview:
The Caps got a little bit of help last night but need to win tonight to take advantage. The Caps can move into the 8th spot in the conference as Pittsburgh defeated Philly in regulation. Philly has 91 points in the standings and with a win the Caps will have 92. New Jersey defeated Boston in a shootout so Boston gained 1 point to move to 92 in the standings. Tampa could not hold off the Carolina as the Hurricanes put a 6-2 beating on the Lightning. The win put Carolina 2 points ahead of the Caps in the SE Division. The Caps face a very unpredictable team in Tampa. They are a team with nothing to lose so look for the Caps to try and score early. Carolina scored a first minute goal last night and Tampa never recovered. The Caps had a tough time putting the Lightning away and required overtime to beat them last Saturday. I don’t see that happening again tonight. Look for the Caps to come out with lots of intensity knowing they need to win to survive.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 TAM 1

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