Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Game #16 Preview: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  November 11, 2010 7:00 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 5-8-1-1
Caps Game 16 Record: 17-14-4-0
All-Time vs. TAM: 58-26-6-4
All-Time at home vs. TAM: 30-11-4-2
Last Season vs. TAM: 4-2-0
Last Meeting: 3/20/10, WAS 3 TAM 1

This Year:
WAS Record: 11-4-0
Standings Points: 22
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st      
Last Game: 11/9/10, WAS 5 NYR 3
Streak: Win 5

TAM Record: 8-4-2
Standings Points: 18
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 4th    
Last Game: 11/9/10, TAM 4 TOR 0
Streak: Win 1

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 21 LAICH, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 15 GORDON, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 26 HENDRICKS, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 4 ERSKINE, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 27 ALZNER, 89 SLOAN
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 70 HOLTBY

Tampa
Forward Line 1: 10 BERGENHEIM, 4 LECAVALIER, 16 PURCELL
Forward Line 2: 26 ST. LOUIS, 91 STAMKOS, 9 DOWNIE
Forward Line 3: 21 RITOLA, 19 MOORE, 6 MALONE
Forward Line 4: 18 HALL, 44 THOMPSON, 42 TYRELL
Defense Pair 1: 39 LUNDIN, 13 KUBINA
Defense Pair 2: 7 CLARK, 77 HEDMAN
Defense Pair 3: 5 OHLUND, 8 JONES
Goalie: 41 SMITH
Back-up Goalie: 33 ELLIS

Injuries:
Washington –1 VARLAMOV (groin) IR, 3 POTI (lower body) IR

TAM – 12 GAGNE (neck) IR

Caps Milestones:
Nicklas Backstrom needs 1 assists to reach 200 in his career.
Jason Chimera needs 6 points to reach 200 in his career.

Preview:
Washington and Southeast Division rival Tampa square off for the first time this season. Currently, Tampa is second in the division, four points behind the Caps. Both teams have crazy offensive weapons so this game will come down to the defense. The Capitals defense and goaltending has improved markedly over last season and they will need a good effort to contain the early season league goals leader Steven Stamkos. The Capitals Alex Ovechkin has a 7-game point streak underway. He has 12 points (4g, 8a) in those games. Look for the game to start fast and be very physical. And don’t forget that whole Ovechkin/Steve Downie dust up from last season. Memories are long in the NHL. I think the two teams will be close after two but the Caps have been finding the way to win the close ones. It should be an exciting game with lots of scoring and hitting and two teams that don’t play well together.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 6 TAM 4



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