Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Game #29 Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: December 10, 2008, 7:00 PM

Caps Record on this Date: 5-6-3-0
Caps Game 29 Record: 17-12-4-0
All-Time vs. BOS: 35-61-21-6
All-Time home vs. BOS: 19-27-12-3
Last Season vs. BOS: 2-2-0
Last Meeting: 3/16/08, WAS 2 BOS 1 (OT-SO)

This Year:
WAS Record: 15-10-3
Standings Points: 33
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 12/7/08, WAS 1 CAR 3
Streak: Loss 1

BOS Record: 19-4-4
Standings Points: 42
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st
Last Game: 12/8/08, BOS 5 TAM 3
Streak: Win 5

Probable Line-Ups:
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 20 AUCOIN, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 15 GORDON, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: ???, 26 MORRISONN
Defense Pair 2: 62 COLLINS, 43 HELMER
Defense Pair 3: 23 JURCINA, 47 ALZNER
Goalie: 1 JOHNSON
Back-up Goalie: 60 THEODORE

Forward Line 1: 17 LUCIC, 91 SAVARD, 81 KESSEL
Forward Line 2: 11 AXELSSON, 46 KREJCI, 12 KOBASEW
Forward Line 3: 22 THORNTON, 37 BERGERON, 73 RYDER
Forward Line 4: 16 STURM, 29 NOKELAINEN, 26 WHEELER
Defense Pair 1: 6 WIDEMAN, 33 CHARA
Defense Pair 2: 34 HNIDY, 48 HUNWICK
Defense Pair 3: 44 WARD, 45 STUART
Goalie: 30 THOMAS
Back-up Goalie: 35 FERNANDEZ

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, 89 SLOAN (foot) DTD, 16 FEHR (shoulder) DTD
Boston – 21 FERENCE (broken leg) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Bradley needs 1 point to reach 100 in his career.
Nicklas Backstrom needs 6 points to reach 100 in his career.
Brooks Laich needs 8 points to reach 100 in his career.
Chris Clark needs 4 penalty minutes to reach 600 in his career.
Shaone Morrisonn needs 2 penalty minutes to reach 300 in his career.

The good news for the Caps is that they are playing at home where they have amassed a 10-1-1 record. The bad news is they are taking on the Eastern Conference leading Boston Bruins and still have not had any returns from the injured reserved ranks. However, that may be changing as defensemen Sami Lepisto was sent down to Hershey on Monday. We do not know who will be replacing Lepisto but Tyler Sloan, Mike Green and Tom Poti are good candidates. Slone is probably the healthiest of the three. The Caps will need a big effort from the blue line as only Detroit (95) and San Jose (102) have scored more goals than the Bruins (94). The forwards will have a tough job as well because Boston has only allowed 59 goals against. Only Minnesota (56) has allowed fewer. Look for the Capitals to try and shoot often on the Boston net. They will need some secondary scoring if they want to win this game. Boston will try and match up 6’-9”, perennial All-Star, Zdeno Chara on Alex Ovechkin and the first line. Watch the passing of the Capitals early on in this one. Crisp passing early will be a good sign for the Caps are on their game.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 BOS 3

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