Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Game #36 Preview: New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals



Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  December 21, 2010 7:30 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 7-7-1-0
Caps Game 36 Record: 16-13-5-1
All-Time vs. NJ: 74-58-8-9
All-Time at home vs. NJ: 44-22-4-5
Last Season vs. NJ: 1-2-1
Last Meeting: 11/22/10, WAS 0 NJ 5
Season Series vs. NJ 1-1-0

This Year:
WAS Record: 19-12-4
Standings Points: 42
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd
Last Game: 12/19/10, WAS 3 OTT 2
Streak: Win 1

NJ Record: 9-21-2
Standings Points: 20
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 14th    
Last Game: 12/18/10, NJ 1 ATL 7
Streak: Loss 2

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 21 LAICH, 85 PERRAULT, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 90 JOHANSSON, 63 GORDON
Forward Line 4: 26 HENDRICKS, 39 STECKEL, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 52 GREEN, 27 ALZNER
Defense Pair 2: 3 POTI, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 23 HANNAN, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV

New Jersey
Forward Line 1: 17 KOVALCHUK, 25 ARNOTT, 8 ZUBRUS,
Forward Line 2: 26 ELIAS, 19 ZAJAC, 15 LANGENBRUNNER
Forward Line 3: 21 TEDENBY, 12 ROLSTON, 23 CLARKSON
Forward Line 4: 10 PELLEY, 14 SESTITO, 11 MAIR
Defense Pair 1: 5 WHITE, 7 TALLINDER
Defense Pair 2: 28 VOLCHENKOV, 29 SALMELA
Defense Pair 3: 6 GREENE, 34 FAYNE
Goalie: 30 BRODEUR
Back-up Goalie: 1 HEDBERG

Injuries:
Washington – 55 SCHULTZ (broken thumb) IR, 89 SLOAN (hip flexor) IR, 15 GORDON (lower body) IR, 17 KING (undisclosed) IR, 28 SEMIN (lower body) DTD

NJ – TAORMINA (ankle) IR, PARISE (torn meniscus) IR, JOSEFSON (thumb) IR, FRASER (fractured hand) IR, SALVADOR (concussion) IR

Caps Milestones:
Jason Chimera needs 1 point to reach 200 in his career.
Mike Knuble needs 4 points to reach 500 in his career.
Nicklas Backstrom needs 8 points to reach 300 in his career.

Preview:

The Capitals return home after a win in Ottawa and face the New Jersey Devils who are mired in one of their worst seasons in recent memory. If the Capitals team learned anything from the last couple of weeks it should be that they ill afford to take any team lightly. The last time these two teams met the Caps laid an egg in a 5-0 shutout humiliating loss. Washington should be fired up for this one. Look for a much more confident team that better not be looking beyond this contest. I expect another hard fought game with lots of hitting and defensive play. If the Caps can get their forwards to crash like they did in Ottawa then it will be a good night for the home team. I get the feeling they are going to break out big time.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 NJ 2


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