Friday, October 31, 2008

Game #10 Washington Capitals at Buffalo Sabres


Where: HSBC Arena, Washington, DC

When: November 1, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:

Caps Record on this Date: 6-6-2-0

Caps Game 10 Record: 12-16-5-0

All-Time vs. BUF: 33-75-15-1

All-Time At BUF: 17-39-6-0

Last Season vs. BUF: 1-3-0

Last Meeting: 3/5/08, WAS 3 BUF 1

This Year:

WAS Record: 5-3-1

Standings Points: 11

Division Rank: 2nd

Conference Rank: 8th

Last Game: 10/28/08, WAS 4 NAS 3 (OT-SO)

Streak: Win 2

BUF Record: 6-2-2

Standings Points: 14

Division Rank: 2nd

Conference Rank: 4th

Last Game: 10/30/08, BUF 2 TAM 5

Streak: Loss 2

Probable Line-Ups:

Washington

Forward Line 1: 21 LAICH, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV

Forward Line 2: 16 FEHR, 91 FEDOROV, 28 SEMIN

Forward Line 3: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 17 CLARK

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: 60 THEODORE

Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Buffalo

Forward Line 1: 20 PAILLE, 9 ROY, 21 STAFFORD

Forward Line 2: 26 VANEK, 22 MAIR, 12 KOTALIK

Forward Line 3: 41 MACARTHUR, 28 GAUSTAD, 29 POMINVILLE

Forward Line 4: 37 ELLIS, 19 CONNOLLY, 61 AFINOGENOV

Defense Pair 1: 44 SEKERA, 6 SPACEK

Defense Pair 2: 5 LYDMAN, 27 NUMMINEN

Defense Pair 3: 10 TALLINDER, 4 WEBER

Goalie: 30 MILLER

Back-up Goalie: 40 LALIME

Injuries:

Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 8 OVECHKIN (personal reasons) DTD

Buffalo – 55 HECHT (finger) IR, 52 RIVET (knee) IR

Caps Milestones:

Victor Kozlov needs 1 point to reach 500 in his career.

Matt Bradley needs 4 points to reach 100 in his career.

Michael Nylander needs 3 shots on goal to reach 1,600 in his career.

Sergei Fedorov needs 3 penalty minutes to reach 800 in his career.

Sergei Fedorov needs 7 shots on goal to reach 3,900 in his career.

Preview:

The Capitals travel to Buffalo to face the Sabres in a clash of 2nd place teams. The Sabres started out strong but have fallen in their last two games. The two teams boast strong offenses with Thomas Vanek of Buffalo and Alexander Semin of Washington pacing all goal scorers and point getters in the NHL. Buffalo is a very fast team but the Washington defense will be bolstered by the return of Tom Poti. Poti practiced with the team this week and with his return Tyler Sloan has been sent back to Hershey. Watch for the Caps to keep the Buffalo skaters to the outside of the rink and force them to take long range shots. The team also needs to stay out of the penalty box. Last season they were one of the fewest penalized teams. This year has not been so good. The Caps will once again be without their All-World left winger Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin is still in Russia but is, from news accounts, expected back on Monday. The Caps and Sabres are particularly fond of each other so it should be high paced and very physical. I’m thinking another 1-goal game. It would be the Caps 7th straight 1-goal result.


Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 BUF 4


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Game #9 Recap - Capitals 4 Predators 3 (OT-SO)

The Capitals were without Alex Ovechkin for the first time in 203 games, but that did not stop them from pulling out a 4-3 overtime, shootout victory last night. Alexander Semin continued his hot hand with a goal, an assist and a shootout goal. Semin is now leading the NHL in points and goals. The Caps came out firing in the first period out shooting Nashville 19-4. Three times the Caps took 1-goal leads in the game only to see Nashville come back. In the third period the Caps took 3 minor penalties and were out shot 15-3. Jose Theodore stopped 3 of the 4 Nashville shootout attempts to seal the victory. The Capitals have won 2 in a row in overtime and their last 6 games have been decided by 1-goal.

Of Note:
  • Alexander Semin's goal came on the power play. His previous 7 came at even strength. He also set up David Steckel's 2nd shorthanded goal of the season. Semin's 2 points moves him into a tie with Greg Adams for 39th on the Cap's All-Time Points List with 153 points.
  • Viktor Kozlov started off the scoring with his 1st goal of the season. Mike Green recorded his 4th assist of the year on the goal.
  • The Caps were 1 for 5 on the power play and killed 6 of 7 power plays against. For the season the Cap's power play is 17.4% successful and they kill 78.4% of the opposition power plays.
  • With 32 shots on goal the Cap's have put up at least 30 shots in 8 of their first 9 games. They have given up more than 30 shots only 4 times.
  • Sergei Fedorov continued to be productive recording an assist on Semin's power play goal along with Nicklas Backstrom. Backstrom has assists in 3 consecutive games.
  • Mike Green was quite busy last night. Along with his assist, he blocked 4 shots, had 4 takeaways and 4 giveaways, 1 hit, 4 shots on goal, 2 missed shots, and a plus-1 rating.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary
Shootout Summary


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Game #9 Washington Capitals vs. Nashville Predators

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: October 28, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:

Caps Record on this Date: 5-11-1-0

Caps Game 9 Record: 13-16-3-1

All-Time vs. NAS: 5-5-1-0

All-Time Home vs. NAS: 3-2-0-0

Last Season vs. NAS: 1-0-0

Last Meeting: 3/18/08, WAS 4 NAS 2

This Year:

WAS Record: 4-3-1

Standings Points: 9

Division Rank: 2nd

Conference Rank: 8th

Last Game: 10/25/08, WAS 6 DAL 5 (OT)

Streak: Win 1

NAS Record: 4-4-0

Standings Points: 8

Division Rank: 4th

Conference Rank: 11th

Last Game: 10/25/08, NAS 5 LA 4

Streak: Win 1

Probable Line-Ups:

Washington

Forward Line 1: 21 LAICH, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV

Forward Line 2: 16 FEHR, 91 FEDOROV, 28 SEMIN

Forward Line 3: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 17 CLARK

Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY

Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN

Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 89 SLOAN

Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE

Goalie: 60 THEODORE

Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Nashville

Forward Line 1: 27 HORNQVIST, 19 ARNOTT, 71 DUMONT

Forward Line 2: 28 JONES, 11 LEGWAND, 10 ERAT

Forward Line 3: 29 WARD, 14 BONK, 25 SMITHSON

Forward Line 4: 22 TOOTOO, 12 NICHOL, 74 TARNASKY

Defense Pair 1: 6 WEBER, 20 SUTER

Defense Pair 2: 2 HAMHUIS, 7 DE VRIES

Defense Pair 3: 4 KOISTINEN, 5 ZANON

Goalie: 39 ELLIS

Back-up Goalie: 25 RINNE

Injuries:

Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 3 POTI (groin) DTD, 8 OVECHKIN (personal reasons) DTD

Nashville – 26 SULLIVAN (back) IR, 41 ORTMEYER (knee) IR

Caps Milestones:

Victor Kozlov needs 2 points to reach 500 in his career.

Matt Bradley needs 4 points to reach 100 in his career.

Michael Nylander needs 4 shots on goal to reach 1,600 in his career.

Sergei Fedorov needs 3 penalty minutes to reach 800 in his career.

Preview:

The Capitals return home for a game against Nashville. The Caps were 1-2-0 on their Western road trip and finished the trip with a wild 6-5 overtime victory in Dallas. The team will be without Alex Ovechkin in this game as he has returned home to Russia to be with his ailing grandfather. Brooks Laich has been penciled in for first line duties and Eric Fehr gets the call on the second line. The Caps are still without Tom Poti in the defensive ranks so once again rookie Tyler Sloan will pair with Jeff Schultz. The defense was very suspect on the latest road trip and will be called upon to give a more consistent effort. The power play has a goal in each of the last two games and looks to be a work in progress. Look for the second line to get the Ovechkin treatment and face the number one defensive pair from Nashville. The Caps will try and get more traffic to net on the power play and take more shots. I think this one will be very competitive in the first but the Caps will pull away in the second.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 NAS 3

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Game #8 Recap - Capitals 6 Stars 5 (OT)

In dramatic fashion the Caps pull out an overtime victory in Dallas. The final score 6-5 was indicative of the lack of defense by both teams. For the Caps a patented toe drag wrist rocket by Alexander Semin ended the game at 2:17 of overtime. The overtime heroics was set up by a defensive gaff that allowed Dallas' Mike Madano to score the tying goal with 56-seconds left in regulation time.

Sergei Fedorov scored 2 goals to become the leading Russian-born goal scorer in NHL history. He has amassed 475 goals in 1,204 career games. Fedorov has 3 goals this season placing him 2nd among Capital Russian-born goal scorers this season. Alex Ovechkin's 2 goals is good for third on the team and Semin is first with 7 goals.

This was a big win for the Caps who had come in with losses in their last 3 games. The defense has been riddled with injuries but needs to address the deficiencies that were very evident on this road trip. Tom Poti is expected back in the next couple of games and Ovechkin is having a tough start. Hopefully, the return of Victor Kozlov will help settle down the top line and Alex can get back to being Alex.

Of Note:
  • Alexander Semin played his 200th career NHL game. He got his 11th career game-winning-goal and recorded assists on both of Sergei Fedorov's goals. The 3-point night was the 5th time in 8-games Semin has recorded multiple points. He is tied for the NHL lead in points with 14 and is tied for 3rd in the league with 7 goals. With the 3-points Semin tied Chris Simon for 40th place on the Caps All-Time Points list with 151 points.
  • Tomas Fleischmann scored 2 goals and Tyler Sloan scored the first goal in his NHL career.
  • Both team scored 1 goal in four attempts on the power play. The Caps held the edge in faceoffs 32-30. Boyd Gordon led the way winning 13 of 17 draws. He also made the play to set up the game-winner by Semin.
  • In an interesting stat, Dallas out hit the Caps 35-12. It just didn't seem that lopsided to me.
  • Michael Nylander assited on both of Fleischmann's goals. Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Viktor Kozlov, Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green picked up assists in the victory.
  • Donald Brashear administered a second period, beat down on former Caps draft pick Krys Barch. Barch was in need of repairs after that scrap.
  • The last five games the Capitals have played have been decided by 1-goal. The Caps are 2-2-1 in those five games.
Official Recap
Game Summary

Event Summary

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Game #8 Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars

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Where: American Airlines Arena, Irving, TX

When: October 25, 2008, 8:00 PM

History:

Caps Record on this Date: 4-7-3-0

Caps Game 8 Record: 11-17-5-0

All-Time vs. DAL: 5-14-1-0

All-Time At DAL: 2-9-0-0

Last Season vs. DAL: Did not play

Last Meeting: 11/30/06, WAS 4 DAL 3

This Year:

WAS Record: 3-3-1

Standings Points: 7

Division Rank: 3rd

Conference Rank: 8th

Last Game: 10/23/08, WAS 1 PHO 2

Streak: Loss 3

DAL Record: 3-4-1

Standings Points: 7

Division Rank: 2nd

Conference Rank: 9th

Last Game: 10/23/08, DAL 5 NYI 3

Streak: Win 1

Probable Line-Ups:

Washington

Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 17 CLARK

Forward Line 2: 21 LAICH, 92 NYLANDER, 28 SEMIN

Forward Line 3: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY

Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 39 STECKEL, 16 FEHR

Defense Pair 1: 26 MORRISONN, 52 GREEN

Defense Pair 2: 55 SCHULTZ, 89 SLOAN

Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 91 FEDOROV

Goalie: 60 THEODORE

Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Dallas

Forward Line 1: 10 MORROW, 63 RIBEIRO, 21 ERIKSSON

Forward Line 2: 16 AVERY, 91 RICHARDS, 96 BRUNNSTROM

Forward Line 3: 18 NEAL, 9 MODANO, 44 CROMBEEN

Forward Line 4: 39 LUNDQVIST, 17 PETERSEN, 13 BARCH

Defense Pair 1: 2 GROSSMAN, 3 ROBIDAS

Defense Pair 2: 6 DALEY, 43 BOUCHER

Defense Pair 3: 5 NISKANEN, 28 FISTRIC

Goalie: 35 TURCO

Back-up Goalie: 31 STEPHAN

Injuries:

Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 25 KOZLOV (leg) DTD, 3 POTI (groin) DTD, 4 ERSKINE (bruised calf) DTD

Dallas – 33 JANIK (face) DTD, 56 ZUBOV (hip) IR, 26 LEHITNEN (groin) DTD, 29 OTT (groin) DTD

Caps Milestones:

Alexander Semin will play in his 200th career NHL game.

Victor Kozlov needs 3 points to reach 500 in his career.

Matt Bradley needs 4 points to reach 100 in his career.

Michael Nylander needs 5 shots on goal to reach 1,600 in his career.

Preview:

The final stop on the Capitals road trip is in Dallas. The Caps have only won here twice in eleven tries. The team hopes to change their most current trend of scoring only 1 goal per game. I don’t know if it’s the injuries or just a rough patch but the Caps are due for a breakout. The Stars have given up lots of goals this season and the Caps need to take advantage. Look for John Erskine to get back into the lineup to face his former team. Watch for some more improvement on the power play as the Stars penalty kill has not been good this season. I have a feeling that this will be a good night for the Caps.


Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 DAL 2


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