Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Game #38 Washington Capitals at Buffalo Sabres

Where: HSBC Center, Buffalo, NY

When: December 30, 2008, 7:00 PM

Caps Record on this Date: 6-6-5-0
Caps Game 38 Record: 14-15-3-1
All-Time vs. BUF: 34-76-15-1
All-Time at BUF: 17-40-6-0
Last Season vs. BUF: 1-3-0
Last Meeting: 12/26/08, WAS 3 BUF 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 23-11-3
Standings Points: 49
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd
Last Game: 12/28/08, WAS 4 TOR 1
Streak: Win 3

BUF Record: 17-14-5
Standings Points: 39
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 8th
Last Game: 12/27/08, BUF 4 NYI 3
Streak: Win 1

Game 1: 11/01/08, WAS 0 BUF 5
Game 2: 12/26/08, WAS 3 BUF 2

Probable Line-Ups:
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 KOZLOV
Forward Line 2: 33 GIROUX, 92 NYLANDER, 17 CLARK
Forward Line 3: 39 STECKEL, 21 LAICH, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 87 BRASHEAR, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 23 JURCINA, 27 ALZNER
Defense Pair 3: 62 COLLINS, 26 MORRISONN
Goalie: 60 THEODORE
Back-up Goalie: 1 JOHNSON

Forward Line 1: 26 VANEK, 9 ROY, 21 STAFFORD
Forward Line 2: 41 MACARTHUR, 55 HECHT, 29 POMINVILLE
Forward Line 3: 20 PAILLE, 22 MAIR, 12 KOTALIK
Forward Line 4: 76 PETERS, 37 ELLIS, 61 AFINOGENOV
Defense Pair 1: 6 SEKARA, 44 SPACEK
Defense Pair 2: 5 LYDMAN, 10 TALLINDER
Defense Pair 3: 27 NUMMINEN, 34 BUTLER
Goalie: 30 MILLER
Back-up Goalie: 40 LALIME

Washington – 2 POTHIER (concussion) IR, 91 FEDOROV (ankle) DTD, 4 ERSKINE (concussion) DTD, 28 SEMIN (back) DTD, 3 POTI (groin) DTD, 14 FLEISCHMANN (illness) DTD

Buffalo – 52 RIVET (shoulder) IR, 42 GERBE (upper body) IR, 15 CONNOLLY (ribs) IR, 28 GAUSTAD (mouth) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Brooks Laich needs 2 points to reach 100 in his career.
Mike Green needs 7 points to reach 100 in his career.
Tom Poti needs 9 points to reach 300 in his career.
Chris Clark needs 2 penalty minutes to reach 600 in his career.
Viktor Kozlov needs 6 goals to reach 200 in his career.
Alex Ovechkin needs 12 goals to reach 200 in his career.

The team heads to Buffalo to face the Sabres with a very different look from when the two teams met 2 games ago. With Mike Green and Jeff Schultz back in the lineup the back line goes from 4 Hershey call ups to only 2. Of course, you must acknowledge how well the players called up have performed since the Caps starters started dropping like flies. After the Minnesota game on Nov. 24 to now, the Caps made 20 recalls (that I can count) from Hershey and went 12-4-0 over that span, pretty impressive. Granted the Caps have not been fielding the team they would like but learning curve has been relatively short and they have been getting the job done. Tonight’s match is one that gives me a bit of concern. The Caps are playing decent hockey and just beat the same Buffalo team on Friday. However, the Caps have suffered big time playing at Buffalo in their history, winning only 17 of 63 meetings, the latest a 5-0 loss back on Nov. 1. Look for the Caps to play an aggressive game and put the body to the smaller, speedier buffalo forwards. They need to wear these guys down throughout the game. The Caps need to get some offense early and keep sustained pressure on the Sabres. Watch the Caps top line tonight, Alex Ovechkin didn’t get the NHL’s 1st Star of the Week for nothing.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 BUF 3

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1 comment:

nikale said...

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