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

Official Preview




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