Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Game #39 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When: January 1, 2009 7:00 PM

History:
Caps Record on this Date: 13-6-3-1
Caps Game 39 Record: 14-13-5-1
All-Time vs. TAM: 49-24-6-4
All-Time home vs. TAM: 26-10-4-2
Last Season vs. TAM: 6-2-0
Last Meeting: 11/10/08, WAS 4 TAM 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 24-11-3
Standings Points: 51
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd
Last Game: 12/30/08, WAS 4 BUF 2
Streak: Win 4

TAM Record: 10-16-10
Standings Points: 30
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 13th
Last Game: 12/30/08, TAM 1 MON 2 (OT-SO)
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:
Washington
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

Tampa
Forward Line 1: 12 MALONE, 4 LECAVALIER, 26 ST. LOUIS
Forward Line 2: 24 PETTINGER, 38 SZCZECHURA, 8 RECCHI
Forward Line 3: 20 PROSPAL, 11 HALPERN, 76 ARTYUKHIN
Forward Line 4: 36 JOKINEN, 91 STAMKOS, 18 HALL
Defense Pair 1: 14 MESZAROS, 54 RANGER
Defense Pair 2: 44 EMINGER, 22 MALIK
Defense Pair 3: 2 KRAJICEK, SMABY
Goalie: 41 SMITH
Back-up Goalie: 37 KOLZIG

Injuries:
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

Tampa – 33 KOCI (broken hand) IR, 10 ROBERTS (lower body) IR

Caps Milestones:
Mike Green will play in his 200th career NHL game.
Brooks Laich needs 1 points to reach 100 in his career.
Mike Green needs 6 points to reach 100 in his career.
Tom Poti needs 9 points to reach 300 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.

Preview:
The Capitals have won 4 in a row and 9 of their last 10 games but needs to be weary of a Tampa team that visits the Phone Booth for New Year’s. Tampa is on a roll of their own winning 3 of their last 4. Tampa is looking like Washington South with former Capitals Jeff Halpern, Matt Pettinger, Steve Eminger, Jamie Heward and Olie Kolzig in the lineup. The Caps must maintain focus and give the Bolts the same Washington welcome we’ve grown accustom to seeing this season. The Caps are 15-1-1 at home this season. Look for a physical game as the Blots try to mirror the toughness of Head Coach Rick Tocchet. Watch Matt Bradley and David Steckel who both have career highs in points against Tampa. If the Caps play true to form, I think they win going away.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 TAM 1

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