Thursday, December 9, 2010

Game #30 Preview: Florida Panthers at Washington Capitals



Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  December 9, 2010 7:00 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 9-8-0-0
Caps Game 30 Record: 17-16-1-1
All-Time vs. FLA: 45-32-9-6
All-Time Home vs. FLA: 23-13-5-5
Last Season vs. FLA: 6-0-0
Last Meeting: 3/16/10, WAS 7 FLA 3

This Year:
WAS Record: 18-8-3
Standings Points: 39
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd      
Last Game: 12/6/10, WAS 4 TOR 5 (OT-SO)
Streak: Loss 3

FLA Record: 12-14-0
Standings Points: 24
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 12th    
Last Game: 12/7/10, FLA 4 COL 3 (OT)
Streak: Win 2

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 21 LAICH, 85 PERRAULT, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 15 GORDON, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 26 HENDRICKS, 90 JOHANSSON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 23 HANNAN, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 89 SLOAN, 3 POTI
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV

Florida
Forward Line 1: 10 BOOTH, 9 WEISS, 67 FROLIK
Forward Line 2: 16 HORDICHUK, 13 SANTORELLI, 63 DADONOV
Forward Line 3: 21 HIGGINS, 19 REASONER, 37 THOMAS
Forward Line 4: 61 STILLMAN, 18 MATTHIAS, 26 BERNIER
Defense Pair 1: 6 WIDEMAN, 52 GARRISON
Defense Pair 2: 24 MCCABE, 43 WEAVER
Defense Pair 3: 5 ALLEN, 7 KULIKOV
Goalie: 29 VOKOUN
Back-up Goalie: 30 CLEMMENSEN

Injuries:
Washington – 4 ERSKINE (lower body) DTD, 55 SCHULTZ (broken Thumb) IR

Florida – 14 DVORAK (shoulder) IR, 85 OLESZ (finger) IR, 36 CULLEN (ruptured Achilles tendon) IR, 12 BITZ (lower body) IR

Caps Milestones:
Jason Chimera needs 1 point to reach 200 in his career.
Mike Knuble needs 7 points to reach 500 in his career.

Preview:

The Capitals are mired in a three game losing streak and the last game was the worst of the lot as they entered the third period with a 4-1 lead and managed to lose the game in the shootout. The Caps will face another hardworking team in the Florida Panthers. The two teams meet in the first of 6 contests on the year. The Caps took the season series last season 6-0 and need to get back on the winning track. Washington took a big hit on the back end last game when Jeff Shultz blocked a shot with his hand and broke his thumb in the process. The defense was already reeling with injuries to Tom Poti, Tyler Sloan and John Erskine. Poti has returned with a 3 assist effort last game but has been on the injured list 4 times this season. They will need a healthy Poti to stabilize the D-corps. After a major letdown in the last game, Washington will look to get out to a fast start. Watch for a furious forecheck and the forwards to be crashing the net. I would not want to be in Florida’s shoes for this game. I am expecting a big effort from the Capitals and the score to reflect it.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 7 FLA 3

Official Preview


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