Saturday, December 11, 2010

Game #31 Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  December 11, 2010 7:00 PM

Caps Record on this Date: 8-4-2-1
Caps Game 31 Record: 15-14-6-0
All-Time vs. COL: 9-7-2-1
All-Time Home vs. COL: 5-2-1-1
Last Season vs. COL: 1-0-0
Last Meeting: 12/15/09, WAS 6 COL 1

This Year:
WAS Record: 18-9-3
Standings Points: 39
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd      
Last Game: 12/9/10, WAS 0 FLA 3
Streak: Loss 4

COL Record: 14-10-4
Standings Points: 32
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 10th    
Last Game: 12/10/10, COL 4 ATL 2
Streak: Win 1

Probable Line-Ups:     
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: 44 FAHEY, 3 POTI
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV

Forward Line 1: 18 YIP, 26 STASTNY, 54 JONES
Forward Line 2: 14 FLEISCHMANN, 9 DUCHENE, 23 HEJDUK
Forward Line 3: 34 WINNIK, 37 O’REILLY, 12 PORTER
Forward Line 4: 55 MCLEOD, 11 DUPUIS, 20 MAULDIN
Defense Pair 1: 4 LILES, 3 O’BYRNE
Defense Pair 2: 27 QUINCEY, 8 SHATTENKIRK
Defense Pair 3: 48 HUNWICK, 52 FOOTE
Goalie: 41 ANDERSON
Back-up Goalie: 31 BUDAJ

Washington – 4 ERSKINE (lower body) DTD, 55 SCHULTZ (broken Thumb) IR, 89 SLOAN (hip flexor) IR

COL – 25 STEWART (hand) IR, 7 VAN DER GULIK (knee) IR, 39 GALIARDI (wrist) IR, 10 CUMISKEY (head) IR, 88 MUELLER (concussion) 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.

Well, going in to last game I thought the Caps were going to break out of their current slump and give Florida a good beating. As it turned out, Washington was the team taken behind the woodshed. Tonight the Colorado Avalanche come to town and the Washington hockey club will attempt to salvage the last game of a horrible 4-game home stand. I expect this game to be very tight at the beginning with the Caps still in a bit of shell shock over their most recent performances. They need to get on the board early to start building their confidence. Of course new Avalanche and former Capitals forward Tomas Fleischmann would like nothing better than to place a dagger in the heart of the team that just traded him. Hopefully, Scott Hannan has given his new mates the rundown on his old team as well. The back end must have suffered more damage last game as Brian Fahey was recalled from Hershey yesterday. Look for this game to be a tight, simple hockey game with lots of grinding. I expect the Caps to break through in the second period and get back on the winning track.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 COL 2

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