Thursday, October 7, 2010

Game #1 Preview: Washington Capitals at Atlanta Thrashers


Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

When:  October 8, 2010 7:30 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 4-7-0-0
Caps Game 1 Record: 17-16-2-0
All-Time vs. ATL: 34-18-5-5
All-Time at ATL: 14-11-2-4
Last Season vs. ATL: 6-0-0
Last Meeting: 4/9/10, WAS 5 ATL 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 0-0-0
Standings Points: 0
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st      
Last Game: 4/28/10, WAS 1 MON 2
Streak: na

ATL Record: 0-0-0
Standings Points: 0
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st    
Last Game: 4/10/10, ATL 1 PIT 0
Streak: na

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 21 LAICH, 14 FLEISCHMANN, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 39 STECKEL, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 17 KING, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 3 POTI, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 27 ALZNER, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 35 SABOURIN

Atlanta
Forward Line 1: 9 KANE, 80 ANTROPOV, 18 BERGFORS
Forward Line 2: 16 LADD, 47 PEVERLEY, 10 LITTLE
Forward Line 3: 21 EAGER, 23 SLATER, 19 MODIN
Forward Line 4: 36 BOULTON, 49 BURMISTROV, 27 THORBURN
Defense Pair 1: 6 HAINSEY, 39 ENSTROM
Defense Pair 2: 33 BYFUGLIEN, 29 ODUYA
Defense Pair 3: 4 BOGOSIAN, 3 SOPEL
Goalie: 50 MASON
Back-up Goalie: 31 PAVELEC

Injuries:
Washington – 1 VARLAMOV

Atlanta – None

Caps Milestones:
Nicklas Backstrom needs 11 assists to reach 200 in his career.
Brooks Laich needs 11 points to reach 200 in his career.
John Erskine needs 6 penalty minute to reach 300 with the Capitals.

Preview:
The Capitals open the season on the road against the Atlanta Thrashers. Atlanta went through great changes in the offseason. They have a new coach, a ton of new players and no Ilya Kovalchuk. The Caps had their number last season going 6-0-0. The Caps come into the season as a Stanley Cup contender and need to prove they can win in the second season. The Caps will want to come out of the gate strong so look for an extremely fast paced game. The key for the Caps is defensive responsibility and penalty killing. The team ranked in the middle of the pack in terms of penalty killing and this phase of the game is going to be emphasized by the coaching staff this year. I think there will be lots of hitting and lots of scoring chances and in the end the Caps will outgun the Thrashers.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 ATL 2




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