Saturday, November 29, 2008

Game #24 Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH

When: November 29, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 5-10-2-0
Caps Game 24 Record: 16-13-4-0
All-Time vs. CLB: 6-1-1-0
All-Time at CLB: 4-1-0-0
Last Season vs. CLB: 1-0-0
Last Meeting: 2/5/08, WAS 4 CLB 3

This Year:
WAS Record: 13-7-3
Standings Points: 29
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 11/28/08, WAS 3 MON 0
Streak: Win 2

CLB Record: 9-10-3
Standings Points: 21
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 11th
Last Game: 11/28/08, CLB 3 DET 5
Streak: Loss 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 39 STECKEL 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 56 BOURQUE
Defense Pair 1: 42 LEPISTO, 26 MORRISONN
Defense Pair 2: 89 SLOAN, 43 HELMER
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 47 ALZNER
Goalie: 60 THEODORE
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Columbus
Forward Line 1: 20 HUSELIUS, 16 BRASSARD, 61 NASH
Forward Line 2: 25 CHIMERA, 18 UMBERGER, 93 VORACEK
Forward Line 3: 33 MODIN, 19 PECA, 14 TORRES
Forward Line 4: 40 BOLL, 27 MALHOTRA, 17 MURRAY
Defense Pair 1: 8 HEYDA, 22 COMMODORE
Defense Pair 2: 3 METHOT, 51 TYUTIN
Defense Pair 3: 5 BACKMAN, 10 RUSSELL
Goalie: 1 MASON
Back-up Goalie: 31 LECLAIRE

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 91 FEDOROV (ankle) DTD, 28 SEMIN (upper body) IR, 52 GREEN (shoulder) IR, 55 SCHULTZ (broken finger) IR, 3 POTI (groin) DTD, 4 ERSKINE (undisclosed) DTD, 17 CLARK (forearm) IR
Columbus – 15 DORSETT (hand) IR, 97 KLESLA (ankle) IR, 30 NORRENA (undisclosed) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Matt Bradley needs 1 point to reach 100 in his career.
Chris Clark needs 4 penalty minutes to reach 600 in his career.
Shaone Morrisonn needs 4 penalty minutes to reach 300 in his career.

Preview:
After taking care of the Montreal Canadians in shutout fashion the Caps head to Columbus for a meeting with the Blue Jackets. Columbus suffered a late third collapse and fell to the Detroit Red Wings last night and will be looking for some redemption. The Caps meanwhile are still without 7 of their regular starters. The Caps blue line has been bolstered by the young and old from the Hershey ranks as Tyler Sloan, Sami Lepisto, Karl Alzner, and Bryan Helmer will get the call again tonight. According to my unofficial stats the Caps have already lost 75 man-games from injury this season. Look for the Caps to take control of this game early and force Columbus to come back. Watch the second line in this game as Tomas Fleischmann, Michael Nylander, and Eric Fehr have had tremendous chemistry lately. Also watch Alex Ovechkin who will try to extend his 10-game point scoring streak. In two prior meetings with the Jackets, Ovechkin has 4 goals.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 CLB 1

Official Preview



Game #23 Recap - Capitals 3 Canadians 0

The Capitals, even with 7 regulars out of the lineup, took the fight to the Canadians. Add in a masterful performance by Jose Theodore and the Caps shutout the visitors 3-0. Theodore stopped all 28 shots he faced for his first clean sheet as a Capital and he did it against his former team. Tomas Fleischmann got the game winning goal on a nice defensive effort in the first period. Flash intercepted a breakout pass from the Montreal passed the puck to Michael Nylander who returned the puck for the put away. The Caps got goals in the third from Alex Ovechkin and David Steckel to seal the victory. The Caps now head to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets tonight. No rest for the weary.

Of Note:
  • Fleishmann has points in 4 consectutive games and 7 of his last 8.
  • Ovechkin extended his points scoring streak to 10 games and is now tied for 2nd in the NHL in 2 catagories with 13 goals and 30 points.
  • Sami Lepisto in his second game this season recorded his second assist. Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Laich also recorded an assist each in the effort.
  • The Caps extended their home unbeaten streak to 9-0-1 this season. The mark is the best in the Eastern Conference.
  • Head Coach Bruce Boudreau got his 50th win as the Caps Bench Boss, the fastest ever in team history.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Game #23 Montreal Canadians at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: November 28, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 4-8-2-1
Caps Game 23 Record: 11-15-6-1
All-Time vs. MON: 48-65-17-1
All-Time Home vs. MON: 29-27-9-0
Last Season vs. MON: 2-2-0
Last Meeting: 1/31/08, WAS 5 MON 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 12-7-3
Standings Points: 27
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 11/26/08, WAS 5 ATL 3
Streak: Win 1

MON Record: 12-5-4
Standings Points: 28
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th
Last Game: 11/26/08, MON 3 DET 1
Streak: Win 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 3: 56 BOURQUE, 21 LAICH, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 39 STECKEL, 38 MINK
Defense Pair 1: 42 LEPISTO, 26 MORRISONN
Defense Pair 2: 89 SLOAN, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 47 ALZNER
Goalie: 60 THEODORE
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Montreal
Forward Line 1: 21 HIGGINS, 11 KOIVU, 27 KOVALEV
Forward Line 2: 46 A. KOSTITSYN, 20 LANG, 6 KOSTOPOULOS
Forward Line 3: 13 TANGUAY, 14 PLEKANEC, 84 LATENDRESSE
Forward Line 4: 74 S. KOSTITSYN, 40 LAPIERRE, 25 DANDENAULT
Defense Pair 1: 44 HAMERLIK, 26 GORGES
Defense Pair 2: 79 MARKOV, 3 O’BYRNE
Defense Pair 3: 51 BOUILLON, 71 BRISEBOIS
Goalie: 30 PRICE
Back-up Goalie: 41 HALAK

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 91 FEDOROV (ankle) DTD, 28 SEMIN (upper body) IR, 52 GREEN (shoulder) IR, 55 SCHULTZ (broken finger) IR, 15 GORDON (back) DTD, 4 ERSKINE (undisclosed) DTD, 17 CLARK (forearm) IR
Montreal – 8 KOMISAREK (shoulder) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Bradley needs 1 point to reach 100 in his career.
Chris Clark needs 4 penalty minutes to reach 600 in his career.
Shaone Morrisonn needs 4 penalty minutes to reach 300 in his career.

Preview:
The Caps regained their winning ways on Wednesday with a victory over the Atlanta Thrashers but they face a much better Montreal Canadians team tonight at the Phone Both. The Caps are still riddled with injuries and may be without the services of Tom Poti due to a groin injury. Look for the Capitals to use their offense to pressure the Canadians and keep the puck out of the defensive zone. Watch Alex Ovechkin who is on a 9 game points scoring streak and will be looking to take control of the game. In the last meeting between the two teams, Ovechkin broke his nose and went on to score 4 goals including the overtime game-winner. This should be a high paced extremely competitive game with the Caps pulling out a close one.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 MON 2

Official Preview




Game #22 Recap - Capitals 5 Thrashers 3

Alex Ovechkin led the Caps with his sixth career hat trick to a 5-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers. The injury depleted team got just what it needed with a high energy performance and a return to the win column. Even with half the defense called up from the AHL the team held Atlanta to 18 shots on goal. The Caps offense was very effective on the forecheck and the passing was very accurate. Michael Nylander, Tomas Fleischmann, and Eric Fehr scored on a gorgeous 3-on-1 passing play. It was a good overall effort from the team and just what the doctor ordered.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin scored for the ninth consecutive game. He has 21 points (10g, 11a) in those 9 games. He also recorded the 25th game-winner of his career. Ovechkin had a career high 8 missed shots.
  • The power play scored 2 goals on 4 attempts but gave up 2 power play goals to Atlanta on 3 attempts.
  • Viktor Kozlov recoreded 3 points in the victory including a break away goal early in the third period.
  • 2007 first round draft pick Karl Alzner made his NHL debut. Alzner logged over 21-minutes of ice time with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot.
  • Sami Lepisto played his first game of the season and picked up the primary assist on Ovechkin's first goal.
  • Graham Mink and Chris Bourque combined for 7 shots on goal.
  • The Caps outshot Atlanta 33-18 and outdrew the Thrashers in the face-off dot 28-19.
  • Jose Theodore was solid early but gave up 3 goals on 18 shots.
  • Tomas Fleischmann had 2 assists in the game and has scored points in 3 straight and 6 of the last 7.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Game #22 Atlanta Thrashers at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: November 26, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 4-5-4-1
Caps Game 22 Record: 14-14-4-1
All-Time vs. ATL: 24-17-5-5
All-Time Home vs. ATL: 14-7-3-1
Last Season vs. ATL: 3-3-2
Last Meeting: 10/5/08, WAS 4 ATL 7

This Year:
WAS Record: 11-7-3
Standings Points: 25
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 11/24/08, WAS 3 MIN 4
Streak: Loss 3

ATL Record: 7-10-2
Standings Points: 16
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 15th
Last Game: 11/25/08, ATL 6 TOR 3
Streak: Win 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 17 CLARK
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 39 STECKEL, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 42 LEPISTO, 26 MORRISONN
Defense Pair 2: 89 SLOAN, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 60 THEODORE
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Atlanta
Forward Line 1: 17 KOVALCHUK, 10 LITTLE, 14 WILLIAMS
Forward Line 2: 13 KOZLOV, 12 WHITE, 20 ARMSTRONG
Forward Line 3: 36 BOULTON, 9 CHRISTENSEN, 27 THORBURN
Forward Line 4: 11 PERRIN, 19 REASONER, 42 CRABB
Defense Pair 1: 39 ENSTROM, 18 SCHNEIDER
Defense Pair 2: 28 HAVELID, 6 HAINSEY
Defense Pair 3: 2 EXELBY, 7 OYSTRICK
Goalie: 1 HEDBERG
Back-up Goalie: 31 PAVELEC

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 91 FEDOROV (ankle) DTD, 28 SEMIN (upper body) DTD, 52 GREEN (shoulder) DTD, 55 SCHULTZ (broken finger), 15 GORDON (back) DTD, 4 ERSKINE (undisclosed) DTD
Atlanta – 4 BOGOSIAN (broken leg) IR, 32 LEHTONEN (back) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Bradley needs 1 point to reach 100 in his career.
Chris Clark needs 4 penalty minutes to reach 600 in his career.
Shaone Morrisonn needs 4 penalty minutes to reach 300 in his career.

Preview:
The Capitals return home for first time in 5 games to face the Atlanta Thrashers. The Caps are really banged up and lost defenseman Jeff Schultz to a broken finger in their last outing. Schultz is going to be placed on the LTIR list to make some salary cap room for a replacement. Nothing has been officially disclosed but my guess is that Sami Lepisto will be brought up from Hershey. Lepisto has appeared in 20 games for the Bears this year with 3 goals, 11 assists and a plus-14 rating. With Atlanta playing in Toronto last night look for the Caps to attack early and try to build on the momentum from the end of last game. Watch for a very physical game as the Caps may have some payback in mind for the opening day loss in Atlanta. My thought is a little home cooking and a tired Atlanta team will make for a good night for the boys in red.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 6 ATL 2

Official Preview

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Game #21 Recap - Capitals 3 Wild 4

The Capitals were down and out or so it would seem. The Wild were up 4-0 and Capitals had lost Jeff Schultz, Boyd Gordon and John Erskine to injury. But the one thing this team does not do is give in. In an impressive individual effort, Eric Fehr out battled a Wild defender all the way down the left wing and pushed a pass to Matt Bradley who somehow put the puck into the Minnesota net. Next Alex Ovechkin ripped a wrist shot through the five-hole and the Caps came storming back. Nicklas Backstorm scored a power play goal and they were within one. However, even with their net empty the Caps could get no more and fell to the Wild 4-3.

The Western road trip is now complete with disappointing 1-3-0 record. With that it is easy to deride the team and call for heads but the one thing I saw was a lot of heart on this team. The team could have easily packed it in and went home but they battled hard and even though they didn't prevail they may have learned a little something about themselves. This may be too little too late for this road trip but they have another stretch of 3 games in 4 nights beginning tomorrow and maybe the confidence to turn things around.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his first career goal against the Wild. Ovechkin now has 25 points on the season tying him for sixth place in the NHL. He has scored points in eight consecutive games.
  • Nicklas Backstrom's goal gives him points in nine consecutive games.
  • Jose Theodore stopped 29 of 33 shots including a sweet glove save on a Minnesota 2-on-none breakaway.
  • To help the ailing defense Brooks Laich was playing shifts on the back end and assisted on the Backstrom goal.
  • Eric Fehr contributed 2 assists and Matt Bradley got his 3rd goal of the season.
  • Tomas Fleischmann and Milan Jurcina picked up the assists on the Ovechkin goal.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Game #21 Washington Capitals at Minnesota Wild

Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN

When: November 24, 2008, 8:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 4-9-2-0
Caps Game 21 Record: 16-10-7-0
All-Time vs. MIN: 8-14-1-1
All-Time at MIN: 3-7-1-0
Last Season vs. MIN: 1-0-0
Last Meeting: 2/26/08, WAS 4 MIN 1

This Year:
WAS Record: 11-6-3
Standings Points: 25
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 6th
Last Game: 11/22/08, WAS 2 SAN 7
Streak: Loss 2

MIN Record: 11-6-1
Standings Points: 23
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st
Last Game: 11/22/08, MIN 1 STL 2
Streak: Loss 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 17 CLARK
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 39 STECKEL, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 26 MORRISONN
Defense Pair 2: 89 SLOAN, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 60 THEODORE
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Minnesota
Forward Line 1: 15 BRUNETTE, 9 KOIVU, 11 NOLAN
Forward Line 2: 8 BURNS, 25 BELANGER, 20 MIETTINEN
Forward Line 3: 11 VEILLEUX, 51 SHEPPARD, 96 BOUCHARD
Forward Line 4: 24 BOOGAARD, 67 POULIOT, 22 CLUTTERBUCK
Defense Pair 1: 5 JOHNSSON, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 2: 3 ZIDLICKY, 41 SKOULA
Defense Pair 3: 2 REITZ, 47 BERGERON
Goalie: 32 BACKSTROM
Back-up Goalie: 29 HARDING

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 91 FEDOROV (ankle) DTD, 28 SEMIN (upper body) DTD, 52 GREEN (shoulder) DTD
Minnesota – 10 GABORIK (back) IR, 26 FOSTER (leg) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Bradley needs 2 points to reach 100 in his career.
Chris Clark needs 4 penalty minutes to reach 600 in his career.
Brooks Laich needs 2 shots on goal to reach 400 in his career.

Preview:
After two disastrous outings in LA and San Jose the Caps can get a split on their current West Coast road trip with a win in Minnesota. Unfortunately, they will not have the services of Alexander Semin, Mike Green or Sergei Fedorov to help them do it. Each is injured and not ready to return to the lineup. Minnesota is a team that does not score a lot of goals but they play a stifling defensive system and have an elite goalie in Niklas Backstrom (no relation to the Cap’s center). In his last 7 games, Backstrom is sporting a 1.55 GAA and 0.943 save percentage but has seen his team only go 4-3-0 in those games. Watch the start of this game as the Caps were blown out in the first period of last two games. It is critical for the Caps to get a good start or they will face a huge uphill battle in this one. Look for the Caps to simplify their game and the forwards need to support the defense as much as possible. The Caps have given up 22 goals in their last four games after giving up 9 in the previous 6. I think the team will pull together and play like we know they can. It will be a hard fought game but hopefully a building block.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 2 MIN 1

Official Preview



Game #20 Recap - Capitals 2 Sharks 7

As the last left hand from Donald Brashear rained down on the Sharks Jody Shelley, it seemed that all the fight had left the Capitals. The Sharks then pounded the Caps 7-2 on the scoreboard. The Sharks scored on their first shot on goal and 3 of the first 5. Even when the Caps controlled the play every time they made a mistake the puck ended up it their net. All over the ice the Caps were soundly beaten and it didn't help that Sergei Fedorov left after the first period after re injuring his ankle. Unfortunately for the Caps, this was an example of how winning teams win. The Sharks stepped on the gas from the beginning and never let off. The Caps have now given up 22 goals in the last four games. That will not get it done. The Team will now head to Minnesota to face the Wild.

Of Note:
  • Tom Poti scored his third goal of the season with assists from Matt Bradley and Tyler Sloan.
  • Tomas Fleischmann scored his eighth of the season on the power play off some really nice passing from Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. For Ovechkin it was his first career point against the Sharks. He has now scored points on every team in the NHL.
  • The Caps were in the box way too often. They gave up goals on 2 of 6 San Jose power plays. The Caps scored on 1 of 4 attempts.
  • Brent Johnson had a tough night in the net stopping 21 of 28 shots.
  • The team combined for a total minus-19 rating in the game. Jeff Schultz took the worst of it with a minus-4.
  • Who knows what the stats guy in San Jose was watching but the Caps were credited with 49 hits to the Sharks 28.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary


Friday, November 21, 2008

Game #20 Washington Capitals at San Jose Sharks

Where: HP Pavilion, San Jose, CA

When: November 22, 2008, 10:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 7-5-1-1
Caps Game 20 Record: 12-16-3-2
All-Time vs. SAN: 8-14-1-1
All-Time at SAN: 3-7-1-0
Last Season vs. SAN: Did not play
Last Meeting: 2/21/07, WAS 2 SAN 3 (OT-SO)

This Year:
WAS Record: 11-5-3
Standings Points: 25
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 11/19/08, WAS 6 ANA 4
Streak: Loss 1

SAN Record: 16-3-1
Standings Points: 33
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st
Last Game: 11/17/08, SAN 4 NAS 1
Streak: Win 3

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 17 CLARK
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 39 STECKEL, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 26 MORRISONN
Defense Pair 2: 89 SLOAN, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 60 THEODORE
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

San Jose
Forward Line 1: 12 MARLEAU, 19 THORNTON, 16 SATOGUCHI
Forward Line 2: 29 CLOWE, 8 PAVELSKI, 9 MICHALEK
Forward Line 3: 39 PLIHAL, 11 GOC, 14 CHEECHOO
Forward Line 4: 45 SHELLEY, 27 ROENICK, 25 GRIER
Defense Pair 1: 22 BOYLE, 37 LUKOWICH
Defense Pair 2: 4 BLAKE, 44 VLASIC
Defense Pair 3: 3 MURRAY, 10 EHRHOFF
Goalie: 20 NABOKOV
Back-up Goalie: 33 BOUCHER

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 91 FEDOROV (undisclosed) DTD, 28 SEMIN (upper body) DTD, 52 GREEN (upper body) DTD
San Jose – MITCHELL (broken leg) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Bradley needs 3 points to reach 100 in his career.
Chris Clark needs 4 penalty minutes to reach 600 in his career.
Brooks Laich needs 4 shots on goal to reach 400 in his career.

Preview:
The Caps took a beating in LA and try to rebound against the number one team in the NHL. San Jose has been unbeatable at home and has lost only 3 times in regulation this season. The Sharks expect their number one goalie, Evgeni Nabokov, back in the net for the match up with the Caps. Look for the Caps to bring much more energy to the start of this game. A slow start killed the Caps in the last game. Watch for Alex Ovechkin as San Jose is the only team in the NHL he has not recorded a point against. He’s played them twice, recording 4 shots on goal and 10 hits. This should be a great game and a big measuring stick for the team.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 SAN 3

Official Preview



Game #19 Recap - Capitals 2 Kings 5

Washington lost to the LA Kings 5-2 last night. The score was indicative of how the game was played. The Kings looked fresher, faster, and more physical. The Caps looked like they had played a physical game the night before and were completely out of sync. They had trouble connecting passes and keeping control of the puck. With that, it was amazing that they were only trailing by 1-goal following the first period after being out shot 12-3. In the second they got a power play goal to tie the score but gave up a goal late in the period. In the third, Alex Ovechkin was called for interference and LA put up a two goal lead. The Caps answered back with a goal from Brooks Laich but that was all they could muster. The Kings finished off the game with two empty net goals . It was a difficult game to watch because you know the team is better than that performance but that's what happens sometime and give the Kings credit for doing what they needed to do.

Of Note:
  • Nicklas Backstrom got a goal and has points in 7 consecutive games. Alex Ovechkin and Viktor Kozlov assisted on the score. Ovechkin has points in 6 straight. Kozlov has points in 4 straight games.
  • Brent Johnson got the start in the Capitals net. He stopped 28 of 31 shots he faced.
  • The Caps have scored a power play goal in 5 consecutive games. They allowed 1 power play goal against in 5 attempts.
  • The Caps were out shot 33 to 21 and out drawn in the face-off circle 27-25. The 21 shots on goal was the fewest game total by the Caps this season. Their previous low in shots was 27.
  • Shaone Morrisonn returned from injury after missing 6 games. He played 21-minutes with 1 shot on goal, 2 hits and 1 blocked shot.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Game #19 Washington Capitals at Los Angeles Kings


Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

When: November 20, 2008, 10:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 3-9-1-0
Caps Game 19 Record: 13-18-2-0
All-Time vs. LA: 34-48-18-0
All-Time at LA: 15-27-6-0
Last Season vs. LA: Did not play
Last Meeting: 2/8/07, WAS 4 LA 3

This Year:
WAS Record: 11-4-3
Standings Points: 25
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 11/19/08, WAS 6 ANA 4
Streak: Win 1

LA Record: 7-8-2
Standings Points: 16
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 13th
Last Game: 11/16/08, ANA 2 LA 0
Streak: Loss 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 21 LAICH, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 3: 39 STECKEL, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 92 NYLANDER, 17 CLARK
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 89 SLOAN, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 60 THEODORE
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Los Angeles
Forward Line 1: 12 O’SULLIVAN, 11 KOPITAR, 23 BROWN
Forward Line 2: 9 MOLLER, 28 STOLL, 24 FROLOV
Forward Line 3: 19 CALDER, 26 HANDZUS, 17 SIMMONDS
Forward Line 4: 41 IVANANS, 22 BOYLE, 13 ZEILER
Defense Pair 1: 8 DOUGHTY, 27 QUINCEY
Defense Pair 2: 2 GREENE, 6 ODONNELL
Defense Pair 3: 5 HARROLD, 21 GAUTHIER
Goalie: 31 ERSBERG
Back-up Goalie: 35 LABARBERA

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 26 MORRISONN (groin) DTD, 91 FEDOROV (undisclosed) DTD, 28 SEMIN (upper body) DTD, 52 GREEN (upper body) DTD
Los Angeles – 3 JOHNSON (shoulder) IR, 67 CLICHE (shoulder) IR, 56 CLUNE (chest) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Bradley needs 3 points to reach 100 in his career.
Chris Clark needs 8 penalty minutes to reach 600 in his career.
Brooks Laich needs 6 shots on goal to reach 400 in his career.

Preview:
The Caps put a good licking on the Anaheim Ducks last night but they paid a heavy price. Defensemen Mike Green left the game with a shoulder injury and is questionable for tonight’s game in LA. The Kings have not played since Sunday and should be rested for the match up. Look for the Caps to take the direct approach with the puck and try to bury the Kings early. If the Caps let them in the game then it will be a tough night. Watch for the secondary scoring to be the key. If the third and fourth lines are as effective as last night then the Kings cannot focus on stopping the top line and that bodes well for the Caps. Even with the injuries, the Caps outmatch the Kings and this game is a should-win for them. Now they have to do it.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 LA 1

Official Preview



Game #18 Recap - Capitals 6 Ducks 4

The Caps wasted little time in this one. They dispatched Anaheim's starting goal tender with 3 goals in just over 7 minutes. They went on to score three more goals to best the Ducks 6-4. The Caps took control on the power play scoring 3 times on 8 chances. It was a physical grinding game filled with penalties and a couple of cheap shots. Steve Montador felt the need to spear Alex Ovechkin in the family jewels but wouldn't accept an invitation to feel the Donald's fists pounding his face. What a coward. Brashear did have the pleasure of a bout with George Parros. While Parros hit Brashear's head several times he was sent to the ice with a succession of rights from big guy. Unfortunately for the Caps, Mike Green left the game after being knocked into the boards late in the first period. Hopefully he'll heal quickly as the Caps head to LA for a meeting with the Kings.

Of Note:
  • Alex Oveckin had 4-points on the night (1 goal, 3 assists). It was the 5th consecutive game he's had mutiple points and scored a goal. In the 5 games he has racked up 6 goals and 8 assists. He now has 161 career assists, that ties him with Dmitry Khristich for 23rd on the Capitals All-Time List.
  • Tomas Fleischmann opened the scoring with a deflection goal on the power play. Fleischmann has goals in three consecutive games.
  • Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, Matt Bradley and David Steckel also scored goals for the Caps.
  • The Caps out shot the Ducks 33-32 but were bested in the face-off dot 34-29.
  • Jose Theodore stopped 28 of the 32 shots he faced including all 11 in the second period.
  • Viktor Kozlov had a very effective game picking up an assist on Backstrom's goal. He was recognized as the game's #3 Star.
  • Micheal Nylander picked up 2 assists in the game breaking a 5-game pointless streak.
  • Matt Bradley picked up the game-winning goal. It was the 4th in his Capitals' career.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Game #18 Wahington Capitals at Anaheim Ducks

Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA

When: November 19, 2008, 10:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 5-6-3-0
Caps Game 18 Record: 6-21-5-1
All-Time vs. ANA: 7-12-1-0
All-Time at ANA: 3-6-1-0
Last Season vs. ANA: Did not play
Last Meeting: 12/8/06, WAS 1 ANA 6

This Year:
WAS Record: 10-4-3
Standings Points: 23
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 11/15/08, WAS 5 NJ 6 (OT-SO)
Streak: Loss 1

ANA Record: 10-7-2
Standings Points: 22
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 4th
Last Game: 11/16/08, ANA 2 LA 0
Streak: Win 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 17 CLARK
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 89 SLOAN, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 60 THEODORE
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Anaheim
Forward Line 1: 14 KUNITZ, 15 GETZLAF, 10 PERRY
Forward Line 2: 32 MOEN, 7 MORRISON, 8 SALANNE
Forward Line 3: 24 MAY, 26 PAHLSSON, 54 RYAN
Forward Line 4: 20 CARTER, 44 NIEDERMAYER, 16 PARROS
Defense Pair 1: 25 PRONGER, 27 NIEDERMAYER
Defense Pair 2: 53 FEASTERLING, 3 HEDICAN
Defense Pair 3: 40 HUSKINS, 5 MONTADOR
Goalie: 35 GIGUERE
Back-up Goalie: 1 HILLER

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 26 MORRISONN (groin) DTD, 91 FEDOROV (undisclosed) DTD, 28 SEMIN (upper body) DTD
Anaheim – 23 BEAUCHEMIN (knee) IR, 29 LARSON (hernia) IR

Caps Milestones:
Nicklas Backstrom will play in his 100th career NHL game.
Matt Bradley needs 4 points to reach 100 in his career.
Chris Clark needs 8 penalty minutes to reach 600 in his career.
Viktor Kozlov needs 3 shots on goal to reach 2,100 in his career.

Preview:
An injury depleted Capitals team heads to Anaheim to face a really good Ducks team. With Alexander Semin, Sergei Fedorov and Shoane Morrisonn all questionable to the game, the Caps need to play within their system and get some secondary scoring from the third and fourth lines. The defense needs to step up and work hard to get the puck out of the Cap’s zone. The Ducks play a forechecking game and New Jersey really hurt the Caps with sustained pressure in the defensive zone. Look for the Caps to try and get a start fast. Their style is much more effective when they have a lead and force the opposition to chase their skill. Watch the first line again as Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin were named the first and second Stars of the Week by the NHL for their work in the last four games. The two combined for 21 points in the four games. This one should be close and very physical and don’t forget the Donald, who should drop the gloves early with George Parros.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 ANA 2

Official Preview



Monday, November 17, 2008

Backstrom, Ovechkin Named NHL Stars of the Week

Per NHL.com:

NEW YORK -- Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin and Nashville Predators goaltender Dan Ellis have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Sunday, Nov. 16.

FIRST STAR -- NICKLAS BACKSTROM, C, WASHINGTON CAPITALS Backstrom highlights

Backstrom led all NHL scorers with 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and posted a +10 rating in four games as the Capitals (10-4-3, 23 points) posted a 3-0-1 record and took first place in the Southeast Division. Backstrom began the week with one assist and a +2 rating in a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay Nov. 10, recorded a goal, three assists and a +4 rating in a 5-1 victory at Carolina Nov. 12 and had one assist and +1 rating in a 3-1 win over New Jersey Nov.14. In the return leg of the home-and-home series against the Devils, Backstrom set a career high with five points (one goal, four assists) and registered a +3 rating in a 6-5 shootout loss at New Jersey Nov. 15. The runner-up for the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie last season, Backstrom has 12 points in his past five games -- triple his point total from the first 12 games of the season (0-4--4).

SECOND STAR -- ALEX OVECHKIN, LW, WASHINGTON CAPITALS Ovechkin highlights

Ovechkin ended a nine-game goal drought, the longest of his NHL career, by tallying in each of Washington's four games last week; he ranked second to Backstrom among NHL scorers with 10 points (five goals, five assists) and posted a League-best +11 rating. Ovechkin recorded a goal, an assist and a +2 rating in a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay Nov. 10, notched a goal, two assists and a +4 rating in a 5-1 victory at Carolina Nov. 12 and was 1-1--2 and +2 in a 3-1 win over New Jersey Nov. 14. The reigning NHL MVP and scoring champion concluded the week with his fourth consecutive multiple-point game by recording two goals, an assist and a +3 rating -- including the game-tying tally at 19:59 of the third period -- in a 6-5 shootout loss at New Jersey Nov. 15.

THIRD STAR -- DAN ELLIS, G, NASHVILLE PREDATORS Ellis highlights

Ellis posted a 3-0-0 record, 2.28 goals-against average and .944 save percentage as the Predators (9-7-1, 19 points) concluded their season-long, six-game road trip with three consecutive victories. Ellis set a franchise record by making 54 saves in a 4-3 overtime victory at San Jose Nov. 11, made 32 stops in a 4-3 overtime win at Anaheim Nov. 14 and finished the week by making 33 saves in a 3-1 win at Los Angeles Nov. 15. Ellis improved his season record to 7-7-1 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .898 save percentage.



Sunday, November 16, 2008

Game #17 Recap - Capitals 5 Devils 6 (OT-SO)

The Capitals had no business getting a point in this game but a last second goal by Alex Ovechkin sent the game to overtime. The two teams played a scoreless overtime and the Devils scored the only shootout goal and the Caps fell 6-5. The game was the Capitals 7th match up in 15 days and it showed. The defense looked and played tired. They were a step behind the entire game, could not clear the defensive zone and left Jose Theodore out to dry. Without some spectacular saves from the Caps goalie the score would have been a Devils blowout. The offense showed remarkable resilience in answering each time the Devils took the lead. Nicklas Backstrom lead the charge with a goal and four assists for his first career 5-point game. In the final minute of the game, with the Caps net minder pulled for an extra attacker, Backstrom pulled the puck from a goalmouth scramble and feed Ovechkin the puck at the far post. Ovechkin deposited the puck with 0.8 seconds left in the game to tie the game at 5-5 and force the overtime. In a game that had very few positives a point in the standings was quite an accomplishment.

Of Note:
  • For his effort Nicklas Backstrom was named the 1st Star of the Night by the NHL. Backstrom currently has a five game points streak and 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) in his last three.
  • Alex Ovechkin had 2 goals and an assist in the game. It was Ovechkin's 4th consecutive multi-point game. In those four games he has 5 goals and 5 assists. In the game Ovechkin had a plus/minus rating of plus-3. For the season he is plus-17 which ties him with teammate Alexander Semin for the NHL lead.
  • The Caps scored on 1 of 2 power play attempts and killed off 3 of 4 Devil attempts.
  • Ovechkin had 12 of the Caps 30 shots on goal. The Devils registered 33 shots on the Caps net.
  • In the shootout Viktor Kozlov, Ovechkin and Boyd Gordon all failed to solve the Devil's Scott Clemmensen.
  • Viktor Kozlov picked up a goal and an assist in the game. Tomas Fleischmann had a goal for the second consecutive game. Tyler Sloan and Boyd Gordon also picked up assists.
  • The Caps won the face-off battle 36-33. The Caps have won more than 50% of face-offs in 11 straight games and are 52.5% effective for the season.
  • The Caps now head to the West Coast for 4-game road trip.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary
Shootout Summary


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Game #16 Recp - Capitals 3 Devils 1

The Caps worked hard to defeat the Caps 3-1 at Verizon Center. Jose Theodore had his best performance this season stopping 32 of 33 shots. Brooks Laich, Tomas Fleischmann, and Alex Ovechkin all picked up goals on the night. The Cap's Alexander Semin left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury and is listed as day-to-day for tonight's match up in Jersey.

Of Note:
  • Viktor Kozlov collected an assist on Tomas Fleischmann's goal for the 500th point in his NHL career.
  • Brooks Laich scored on the Cap's only power play attempt. He deflected an Alex Ovechkin shot past the New Jersey net minder. The Caps killed off both of New Jersey's power play attempts.
  • Mike Green picked up 2 assists in the game and 5 points in the last three games.
  • Ovechkin has scored a goal in 3 consecutive games. His goal was the 6th empty net goal in his career.
  • John Erskine blocked 5 shots in the effort. Brooks Laich and Dave Steckel each blocked 4.
  • The Capitals head back to Newark tonight to face the Devils on the back half of the home-and-home.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary

Friday, November 14, 2008

Game #16 New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: November 14, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 5-6-3-0
Caps Game 16 Record: 15-14-4-0
All-Time vs. CAR: 31-19-7-3
All-Time at CAR: 13-10-5-2
Last Season vs. CAR: 4-4-0
Last Meeting: 11/6/08, WAS 3 CAR 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 9-4-2
Standings Points: 20
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 11/12/08, WAS 5 CAR 1
Streak: Win 4

NJ Record: 7-6-2
Standings Points: 16
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 9th
Last Game: 11/12/08, NJ 2 NYR 5
Streak: Loss 3

Previous Meetings:
Game 5: 10/18/08, WAS 3 NJ 4 (OT-SO)

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 39 STECKEL, 17 CLARK
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 89 SLOAN, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 60 THEODORE
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

New Jersey
Forward Line 1: 9 PARISE, 19 ZAJAC, 15 LANGENBRUNNER
Forward Line 2: 26 ELIAS, 8 ZUBRUS, 14 GIONTA
Forward Line 3: 20 PANDOLFO, 11 MADDEN, 23 CLARKSON
Forward Line 4: 22 VRANA, 17 RUPP, 18 BERGFORS
Defense Pair 1: 2 BROOKBANK, 5 WHITE
Defense Pair 2: 29 ODUYA, 24 SALVADOR
Defense Pair 3: 27 MOTTAU, 28 SALMELA
Goalie: 1 WEEKES
Back-up Goalie: CLEMMENSEN

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 26 MORRISONN (groin) DTD, 91 FEDOROV (undisclosed) DTD
New Jersey – 21 TALLACKSON (irregular heartbeat) IR, 12 ROLSTON (ankle) IR, 30 BRODEUR (elbow) IR, 16 HOLIK (broken finger) IR, 6 GREENE (broken hand) IR, 25 LETOURNEAU-LEBLOND (nasal fracture) IR, 7 MARTIN (back) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Victor Kozlov needs 1 point to reach 500 in his career.
Matt Bradley needs 4 points to reach 100 in his career.

Preview:
An injury depleted New Jersey team comes to the Verizon Center for the beginning of a home-and-home series with the Caps. For the Caps this will be their 6th game in 11 days and have been shuffling the line up due to injuries as well. Jose Theodore will get the start in net as Brent Johnson had to leave the Carolina game with a hip injury. Sergei Fedorov is not expected to play and Shaone Morrisonn is a game time decision. The Devils are without their longtime goalie and Cap’s nemesis Martin Brodeur. The Caps first line was firing on all cylinders last game but look for Viktor Kozlov in this one. He had 4 shots on goal in Carolina but was a bit unlucky. I think he’ll get his 500th career point tonight. Watch for the Caps to try and take advantage early as the Devils will try to keep the Caps bottled up as much as possible. If this turns into a skating affair the Devils are dead.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 NJ 2

Official Preview



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Game #15 Recap - Capitals 5 Hurricanes 1

The Washington Capitals first line dominated the scoring as the Caps beat the Hurricanes 5-1. The Canes simply had no answer for them last night. The trio combined for 4 goals and12 points in the game. Alexander Semin refuses to cool off. He contributed 2 goals and three assists for a 5-point night. Alex Ovechkin collected a goal and two assists. Nicklas Backstrom got his first goal of the season and chipped in 3 assists. Mike Green was the only other Cap on the score sheet with a goal and an assist.

In the first period the Caps jumped out to a 3-1 lead. The Canes had a 1 minute 18 second 5-on-3 advantage late in the period but could not connect. Brent Johnson was on his game again, giving up 1 goal on 13 shots but was injured at the end of the period. Jose Theodore relieved Johnson in the second. Carolina came out hard in the second but couldn't gain the momentum as Theodore stopped all 13 shots he faced. The Capitals didn't play their best game but they outworked the Canes and took advantage of their opportunities. The Caps now sit alone as the leader in the Southeast Division. With the result last night, I believe I have proven the blind squirrel theory valid with a correct prediction.

Of Note:
  • Alexander Semin had the first 5-point game in his NHL career. He scored goals on the only two shots he took in the game. He is now leading the NHL in points, goals, and plus minus rating. He is currently on pace to score 71 goals and rack up 148 points. Wow!
  • After a 1st period scrum, Semin was seen giving Doanald Brashear the license numbers of offending Hurricanes. Future action may be possible there is no statute of limitations in the NHL.
  • Alexander Ovechkin has goals in two consecutive games and 8 points in his last 4 games.
  • Mike Green's goal was his 5th power play goal of the season. His slap shot was aided by a beautiful goalie screen from Brooks Laich.
  • The Caps were 1 for 5 on the power play and stopped 6 of 7 Carolina power play attemps.
  • The team combined for a season high 18 blocked shots.
  • The game stats gave the Hurricanes 27 hits to the Caps 18. That seems odd to me, the Canes didn't look nearly as physical as the Caps.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Game #15 Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes

Where: RBC Center, Raleigh, NC

When: November 12, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 5-5-4-0
Caps Game 15 Record: 13-14-4-2
All-Time vs. CAR: 31-19-7-3
All-Time at CAR: 13-10-5-2
Last Season vs. CAR: 4-4-0
Last Meeting: 11/6/08, WAS 3 CAR 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 8-4-2
Standings Points: 18
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 11/10/08, WAS 4 TAM 2
Streak: Win 3

CAR Record: 8-5-2
Standings Points: 18
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 7th
Last Game: 11/9/08, CAR 2 ATL 5
Streak: Loss 1

Previous Meetings:
Game 12: 11/6/08, WAS 3 CAR 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 17 CLARK
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 39 STECKEL, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 89 SLOAN, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 1 JOHNSON
Back-up Goalie: 60 THEODORE

Carolina
Forward Line 1: 13 WHITNEY, 17 BRIND’AMOUR, 24 WALKER
Forward Line 2: 15 RUUTU, 12 STAAL, 44 EAVES
Forward Line 3: 59 LAROSE, 63 HELMINEN, 39 DWYER
Forward Line 4: 18 BAYDA, 8 CULLEN, 14 SAMSONOV
Defense Pair 1: 6 GLEASON, 77 CORVO
Defense Pair 2: 4 SEIDENBERG, 7 WALLIN
Defense Pair 3: 25 PITKANEN, 33 BABCHUK
Goalie: 30 WARD
Back-up Goalie: 49 LEIGHTON

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 26 MORRISONN (groin) DTD, 91 FEDOROV (undisclosed) DTD, 25 KOZLOV (undisclosed) DTD,
Carolina – 45 TANABE (concussion) IR, 16 SUTTER (concussion) DTD, 11 WILLIAMS (torn Achilles) IR, 5 KABERLE (foot fracture) 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.

Preview:
The Caps are head to Carolina with a 3-game win streak. Tonight’s match up will be their 5th game in 8 nights and the second with Carolina in 6 days. Carolina was quite upset about the outcome of the last game. As you remember Alexander Semin scored to 2 goals in three minutes to beat the Canes at Verizon Center. Look for this match up to be very physical as the Canes try to take revenge for the injustice of being beaten. The Caps need another strong start like they had against Tampa. The Caps took a 3-0 lead in the first period but they need to finish off much better as they seemed to take the foot off the gas pedal for the second and half of the third period. That kind of inconsistency is driving Head Coach Bruce Boudreau batty. Watch for Alex Ovechkin in this one as he scored his first goal in 10 games in the third period against Tampa and is primed for a break out. I’d hate to be a Carolina goalie tonight.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 CAR 1

Official Preview



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Game #14 Recap - Capitals 4 Lightning 2

Olie Kolzig made his much anticipated return to Washington to face the Caps. Too bad the rest of his team didn't turn up until the second period. The Caps converted on 3 of 12 first period shots and hung on to defeat Tampa 4-2. Tom Poti got the opening goal on a nice feed from Donald Brashear on the Cap's first shot against Kolzig. The second was a mirror image as Alex Ovechkin set up Mike Green on the very next shot. Eric Fehr unloaded a slap shot to make it 3-0 as the Caps dominated the scoring in the first. The Cap penalty killing woes continued as the team seemed to take the second period off. Gary Roberts hitting the mark twice from in close on the power play. Ovechkin ended his goal scoring drought converting a deflection goal from Alexander Semin. Brent Johnson was solid in net. He has started 4 consecutive games going 3-0-1 in that span. With the win the Caps retook the lead in the Southeast Division.

Of Note:
  • Alexander Semin gained a share of the NHL points lead with the assist on Ovechkins goal. Semin has had at least a point in 12 of the Caps 14 games this season.
  • Ovechkin's goal was his third of the season and he has now scored on 55 different goalies in his career.
  • Eric Fehr scored his first goal of the season and it turned out to be the game winner. In his career he has 4 goals and 2 of those are game winners.
  • 11 of the 18 Capital skaters recoreded points in the game. Poti, Green, Fehr and Ovechkin with goals and Erskine, Ovechkin, Backstrom, Laich, Semin, Steckel, Schultz and Brashear got an assist each.
  • With 4 penalty minutes in the game, Brashear became the 42nd member of the Capitals to accrue 300 penalty minutes with the team. He has a long way to go to catch Dale Hunter who collected a whopping 2,003-minutes in penalties.
  • Johnson stopped 34 of 36 shots he faced and improved his record to 4-1-2 on the season. Johnson was named the NHL's Third Star for his performance last week.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary


Monday, November 10, 2008

Brent Johnson Named NHL 3rd Star of the Week

Per NHL.com:

"THIRD STAR -- BRENT JOHNSON, G, WASHINGTON CAPITALS Johnson highlights

Making three consecutive starts for the first time since March 2007, Johnson posted a 2-0-1 record with a 1.63 goals-against average and .953 save percentage as the Capitals collected five of six available points. He made a season-high 42 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss at Ottawa Nov. 4, stopped 32 shots in a 3-2 victory over Carolina Nov. 6 and made 28 stops in a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers Nov. 8. Johnson improved his season record to 3-1-2 with a 2.12 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in six appearances. Since Bruce Boudreau was named head coach on Nov. 22, 2007, Johnson is 9-3-3 with a 2.19 goals-against average and .925 save percentage as a starter."

Game #14 Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: November 10, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 5-8-1-0
Caps Game 14 Record: 14-15-4-0
All-Time vs. TAM: 48-24-6-4
All-Time Home vs. TAM: 25-10-4-2
Last Season vs. TAM: 6-2-0
Last Meeting: 4/3/08, WAS 4 TAM 1

This Year:
WAS Record: 7-4-2
Standings Points: 16
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 8th
Last Game: 11/8/08, WAS 3 NYR 1
Streak: Win 2

TAM Record: 5-4-4
Standings Points: 14
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 10th
Last Game: 11/8/08, TAM 2 PHI 1
Streak: Win 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 39 STECKEL, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 89 SLOAN, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 1 JOHNSON
Back-up Goalie: 60 THEODORE

Tampa
Forward Line 1: 20 PROSPAL, 4 LECAVALIER, 26 ST. LOUIS
Forward Line 2: 10 ROBERTS, 36 JOKINEN, 8 RECCHI
Forward Line 3: 12 MALONE, 91 STAMKOS, 17 VRBATA
Forward Line 4: 34 CRAIG, 77 GRATTON, 18 HALL
Defense Pair 1: 39 LUNDIN, 54 RANGER
Defense Pair 2: 14 MESZAROS, 22 MALIK
Defense Pair 3: 2 KRAJICEK, 44 EMINGER
Goalie: 37 KOLZIG
Back-up Goalie: 41 SMITH

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 26 MORRISONN (groin) DTD, 91 FEDOROV (undisclosed) DTD, 17 CLARK (undisclosed) DTD
Tampa – 11 HALPERN (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.
Donald Brashear needs 4 penalty minutes to become the 42nd Cap to reach 300 with the team.

Preview:
Tonight marks the return of former Capitals goalie Olie Kolzig to the Verizon Center. Kolzig played in 711 games over 18 years for the Caps and holds every major record for goal tending in the Capital’s record book. Following last season’s acquisition of Cristobal Huet by the Caps, Kolzig was relegated to a backup role and signed with Tampa during free agency this past July. Tampa has three other former Capitals on their roster: former captain Jeff Halper, Matt Pettinger, and newly acquired Steve Eminger. We wish them all well but hope they end up on the short end of the score. The Caps are coming off of a victory over the Rangers where the team dug in and got a lead early and limited the Rangers chances. Good goal tending by Brent Johnson will probably earn him another start tonight. Look for this game to be very physical and up tempo. Alexander Semin continued his hot steak with two more points in Saturday’s game. In his career against Tampa he has 12 goals and 20 points in 19 games. Watch for a big night for the first line of Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin as the three have combined for 50 points lifetime against the Bolts. This should be a big night for the Caps and I think they will score early and often.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 TAM 1

Official Preview



Sunday, November 9, 2008

Game #13 Recap - Capitals 3 Rangers 1

The Caps played a hard game last night for the full sixty minutes and were rewarded with a 3-1 victory over the Rangers. The Caps scored twice in the first to put the pressure on the visitor. Both goals were the "ugly" variety that required a video replay to confirm. Brooks Laich batted a puck into the net on a power play as an Alexander Semin shot deflected off the glass, caromed over the goal and bounced off the New York goalie. Tom Poti netted the eventual game-winner after a rebound on a real nice rush from Boyd Gordon. As Gordon took the puck to the net, he and the goalie knocked the net partailly off the peg but the goal stood. Brent Johnson played another solid game in net for the Caps. In the third period he stopped Chris Drury on a penalty shot by poke checking the puck before Drury could shoot. To add some drama Semin took a tripping penalty with a little over two minutes remaining in the game. With the goal tender pulled, New York stormed the Cap's net but couldn't get the equalizer. After being released from the box, Semin got the puck below the face-off dot in the Caps zone and fired a slap slot into the dead center of the empty net with 5-seconds remaining in the game.

Of Note:
  • Semin moved up another notch on the Caps All-Time Goals Scored list tying Larry Murphy at #28 with 85 goals for Washington. With an assist on Laich's goal, it was the 8th time in the 13 games this season that Semin has had multiple points. He is currently 2nd in the NHL in goals and points and leads all NHLers with a plus-11 rating.
  • With Laich's goal the Caps were 1 for 4 on the power play and the Caps allowed New York only 3 power play attempts. The Rangers scored their lone goal on the power play as a shot deflected off of a defensmen's stick and eluded Brent Johnson.
  • The Caps were very strong in the face-off dot winning 33 and losing 20. New York out shot the Caps by one 29-28.
  • Tom Poti's game-winning-goal was his first as a Capital and the 19th of his career. The goal was the first by a Caps D-man since Tyler Sloan scored against Dallas in Game #8.
  • Along with Semin, Boyd Gordon, Nicklas Backstrom, and Jeff Schultz picked assists on Capital goals.
Official Recap
Game Summary

Event Summary


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Game #13 New York Rangers at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: November 8, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 3-6-2-0
Caps Game 13 Record: 15-14-4-0
All-Time vs. NYR: 82-74-18-4
All-Time Home vs. NYR: 47-31-9-3
Last Season vs. NYR: 2-2-0
Last Meeting: 2/10/08, WAS 2 NYR 1

This Year:
WAS Record: 6-4-2
Standings Points: 14
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 8th
Last Game: 11/6/08, WAS 3 CAR 2
Streak: Win 1

NYR Record: 11-4-1
Standings Points: 23
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st
Last Game: 11/6/08, NYR 5 TAM 2
Streak: Win 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 39 STECKEL, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 89 SLOAN, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 1 JOHNSON
Back-up Goalie: 60 THEODORE

New York
Forward Line 1: 91 NASLUND, 19 GOMEZ, 24 CALLAHAN
Forward Line 2: 10 DAWES, 23 DRURY, 25 PRUCHA
Forward Line 3: 13 ZHERDEV, 17 DUBINSKY, 34 VOROS
Forward Line 4: 20 SJOSTROM, 15 BETTS, 28 ORR
Defense Pair 1: 18 STAAL, 27 MARA
Defense Pair 2: 5 GIRARDI, 6 REDDEN
Defense Pair 3: 3 ROZSIVAL, 45 KALININ
Goalie: 30 LUNDQVIST
Back-up Goalie: 40 VALIQUETTE

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 26 MORRISONN (groin) DTD, 91 FEDOROV (undisclosed) DTD, 17 CLARK (undisclosed) DTD
New York – 51 BARNES (undisclosed) 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.
Donald Brashear needs 4 penalty minutes to become the 42nd Cap to reach 300 with the team.

Preview:
The Caps are still very inconsistent but were able to pull out a dramatic victory over Carolina on Thursday. Tonight the face the NHL standings point leading New York Rangers. Granted the Rangers have played 2 more games than anyone else in the conference but they still have the same number of losses as the Caps. Head Coach Bruce Boudreau tried to shake things up a bit by putting Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Sergei Fedorov on the same line last game. The trio scored one goal before Fedorov was injured but the two Alex combo provided two more goals to get the win. With the all eggs in one basket approach the coach is hoping to get Ovechkin to snap out of his snake bit streak of 8 games without a goal. With injuries to Shaone Morrisonn, Sergei Fedorov and Chris Clark, Tyler Sloan, who was recalled from Hershey, Eric Fehr and Dave Steckel will get the start. Look for the Caps to simplify their play in the defensive end and try to get the forecheck going. Watch the top line again as the Caps pair Ovechkin and Semin with Backstrom. I’m not too sure what we get tonight but expect a big crowd and hopefully the team can put together a good effort.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 NYR 2

Official Preview





Friday, November 7, 2008

Game #12 Recap - Capitals 3 Hurricanes 2

Alexander Semin scored 2 goals in the final minutes to propel the Caps to a 3-2 win over Carolina. In a game that featured choppy and disjointed play the Caps were able to pull out a victory in dramatic fashion. Brent Johnson had another good effort in the net stopping 32 of 34 shots. Overall, an ugly win for the Caps.

Of Note:
  • Alexander Semin's two goals gives him 84 in his career and he moves ahead of Jaromir Jagr into 29th place on the Capitals All-Time Goal Scoring list. The last goal was also his 12th game-winner in his career.
  • Alex Ovechkin did not score a goal but had the primary assist for all 3 Caps goals. Ovechkin registered a team-high 7 hits.
  • The Caps failed to score on 3 power play attempts. The Caps did not allow Carolina to score with the man advantage in 2 attempts including 1:03 of 5-on3.
  • The Caps did very well in the face-off circle winning 35 of 55 draws (64%).
  • Sergei Fedorv scored his 4th goal of the season and reached a milestone with his 3,900th career shot on goal.
  • Three Caps D-men recorded assists: Jeff Schultz, Tom Poti, and Mike Green.
  • Donald Brashear put a beatdown on Wade Brookbank in a second period fight.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Game #12 Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: November 6, 2008, 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 6-5-1-1
Caps Game 12 Record: 8-21-4-0
All-Time vs. CAR: 30-19-7-3
All-Time Home vs. CAR: 17-9-2-1
Last Season vs. CAR: 4-4-0
Last Meeting: 4/1/08, WAS 4 CAR 1

This Year:
WAS Record: 5-4-2
Standings Points: 12
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 9th
Last Game: 11/4/08, WAS 1 OTT 2 (OT)
Streak: Loss 2

CAR Record: 7-3-2
Standings Points: 16
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 11/4/08, CAR 5 TOR 4
Streak: Win 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 92 NYLANDER, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 91 FEDOROV, 10 BRADLEY
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 17 CLARK
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 26 MORRISONN, 3 POTI
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 1 JOHNSON
Back-up Goalie: 60 THEODORE

Carolina
Forward Line 1: 18 BAYDA, 12 STAAL, 13 WHITNEY
Forward Line 2: 14 SAMSONOV, 17 BRIND’AMOUR, 24 WALKER
Forward Line 3: 59 LAROSE, 63 HELMINEN, 15 RUUTU
Forward Line 4: 28 BROOKBANK, 39 DWYER, 44 EAVES
Defense Pair 1: 6 GLEASON, 77 CORVO
Defense Pair 2: 4 SEIDENBERG, 7 WALLIN
Defense Pair 3: 22 MELICHAR, 33 BABCHUK
Goalie: 30 WARD
Back-up Goalie: 49 LEIGHTON

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR
Carolina – 45 TANABE (concussion) IR, 8 CULLEN (leg) DTD, 16 SUTTER (concussion) DTD, 11 WILLIAMS (torn Achilles) IR, 5 KABERLE (foot fracture) IR, 25 PITKANEN (knee) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Victor Kozlov needs 1 point to reach 500 in his career.
Matt Bradley needs 4 points to reach 100 in his career.
Sergei Fedorov needs 1 shot on goal to reach 3,900 in his career.

Preview:
The Caps performed much better in Ottawa but fell in overtime. The team returns to the Verizon Center tonight to face Carolina. This is only the second match up with a division opponent this season. Currently, the Canes are 4 points ahead of the Caps in the standings and were the preseason pick to contend for the division title. The Canes have been playing well on the road and will present a big test for the Caps. Look for the Caps to continue to work hard and play their system. The team appears to be just a bit out of sync but I that it’s only a matter of time before they put it all together. Watch for the top line of Ovechkin, Kozlov, and Backstrom to put it together tonight. Ovechkin has 29 points in 24 career games against Carolina.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 CAR 2

Official Preview



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Game #11 Recap - Capitals 1 Senators 2

The Capitals were defeated with 40-seconds left in overtime. In a game where Capitals Goalie Brent Johnson stopped 42 of 44 shots the Caps couldn't seem to generate quality scoring chances. With that being said the team just looks a little off. I have a feeling that soon things will start clicking for this team. This was a tough game for the Caps but they still managed a point in the standings.

Of Note:
  • Tomas Fleischmann scored his 4th goal of the season with assists from Alexander Semin and Michael Nylander.
  • Semin's assist gives him 154 points in his career. He is now tied with Geoff Courtnall for 38th on the Caps All-Time Points list.
  • The Caps killed off all 5 Ottawa power plays including a 1:57 of 5-on-3 advantage. The Caps failed to score on their 1 and only power play attempt.
  • Sergei Fedorov reached the 800 penalty minute milestone.
  • In his first game back, Alex Ovechkin had 4 shots on goal. He moved ahead of Sylvain Cote into 9th place on the Caps All-Time Shots on Goal List with 1,308.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Game #11 Washington Capitals at Ottawa Senators

Where: Scotiabank Place, Ottawa, Ontario

When: November 4, 2008, 7:30 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 8-4-0-0
Caps Game 11 Record: 10-18-5-0
All-Time vs. OTT: 28-26-5-0
All-Time At OTT: 13-15-1-0
Last Season vs. OTT: 4-0-0
Last Meeting: 1/15/08, WAS 4 OTT 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 5-4-1
Standings Points: 11
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 9th
Last Game: 11/1/08, WAS 0 BUF 5
Streak: Loss 1

OTT Record: 4-5-2
Standings Points: 10
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 12th
Last Game: 11/1/08, OTT 2 TAM 3 (OT-SO)
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 21 LAICH, 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

Ottawa
Forward Line 1: 15 HEATLEY, 19 SPEZZA, 11 ALFREDSSON
Forward Line 2: 20 VERMETTE, 22 KELLY, 10 DONOVAN
Forward Line 3: 73 RUUTU, 12 FISHER, 18 WINCHESTER
Forward Line 4: 71 FOLIGNO, 5 SCHUBERT, 25 NEIL
Defense Pair 1: 24 VOLCHENKOV, 4 PHILLIPS
Defense Pair 2: 17 KUBA, 21 SMITH
Defense Pair 3: 45 PICARD, 2 RICHARDSON
Goalie: 31 AULD
Back-up Goalie: 29 GERBER

Injuries:
Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 26 MORRISONN (undisclosed) DTD
Ottawa – none

Caps Milestones:
Victor Kozlov needs 1 point to reach 500 in his career.
Matt Bradley needs 4 points to reach 100 in his career.
Sergei Fedorov needs 1 penalty minutes to reach 800 in his career.
Sergei Fedorov needs 3 shots on goal to reach 3,900 in his career.

Preview:
After an embarrassing effort in Buffalo the team was put though a workout and a half. Head Coach Bruce Boudreau was not very happy with the team’s performance and let them know it. Hopefully the rebuke has the intended effect as the team heads to Ottawa to face the Senators. Good news for the team as Alex Ovechkin has returned from Russia and Shaone Morrisonn’s injury from last game is not as bad as first thought and both should be able play in Ottawa. Look for the Caps to be flying around in Ottawa with a strong forecheck. The defense has to be better and look for Ovechkin to take command of the game in the early going. The Caps went 4-0-0 against Ottawa last season so the Sens will be ready. It should be a physical match up and close on the scoreboard.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 OTT 2

Official Preview




Monday, November 3, 2008

Alexander Semin Named NHL 1st Star for October

The NHL just named the three Stars for the month of October:

  1. Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals
  2. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
  3. Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
Semin and Alex Ovechkin are the only Caps to be named the 1st Star of the Month. The monthly three star awards were started last season. Ovechkin, Olaf Kolzig, Jim Carey (twice), and Mike Gartner previously earned NHL player of the Month honors for the Capitals.

Link


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Game #10 Recap - Capitals 0 Buffalo 5

What can you say about this one? Well, Buffalo showed up and the Caps did not. The Sabres then stuck it to the Caps 5-0. Head Coach Bruce Boudreau did not the performance one bit. After the game he called out a few guys and canceled today's day off. The team will practice at 11:00 and I assume much skating and battling for pucks will be involved.

It would be easy to put this one on the goalie, who did not have his best game but the defense was absolutely shameful. Mike Green made Thomas Vanek look All-World as he went around him and scored on the first shot of the game. From there it didn't get any better. The Caps took eight minor penalties with Buffalo converting once. Defensemen Shaone Morrisonn was injured and forced Sergei Fedorov back to blue line duty. Morrisonn was taken to the hospital but did return with the team to Washington. The Capitals expect Alex Ovechkin to return to the team on Monday, not soon enough.

Of Note:
  • John Erskine and David Steckel were the only two Caps not to register a minus rating in the game.
  • Jose Theodore stopped 22 of 27 shots in the loss.
  • Michael Nylander recorded his 1,600th career shot on goal.
  • Tomas Fleischmann ringing the cross bar and Nylander hitting the post was the closest any Cap came to scoring.
  • The Caps recorded 29 shots on goal. They also missed 10 shots and had 17 shots blocked.
  • On the power play the Caps were 0 for 5 including over a minute of a 5-on-3 advantage.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary


Add This