Saturday, January 8, 2011

Game #42 Preview: Florida Panthers at Washington Capitals


Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  January 8, 2011, 7:00 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 6-6-1-1
Caps Game 42 Record: 14-18-3-0
All-Time vs. FLA: 45-33-9-6
All-Time at Home vs. FLA: 23-14-5-5
Last Season vs. TAM: 6-0-0
Last Meeting: 12/9/10, WAS 0 FLA 3

This Year:
WAS Record: 23-12-6
Standings Points: 52
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th
Last Game: 1/4/11, WAS 0 TAM 1 (OT)
Streak: Loss 1

FLA Record: 18-19-2
Standings Points: 38
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 11th    
Last Game: 1/7/11, FLA 3 CAR 5
Streak: Loss 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, 90 JOHANSSON, 14 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 26 HENDRICKS, 83 BEAGLE, 39 STECKEL
Defense Pair 1: 52 GREEN, 23 HANNAN
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 55 SCHULTZ, 3 POTI
Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV
Back-up Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH

Florida
Forward Line 1: 21 HIGGINS, 9 WEISS, 67 FROLIK
Forward Line 2: 10 BOOTH, 13 SANTORELLI, 85 OLESZ
Forward Line 3: 61 STILLMAN, 19 REASONER, 14 DVORAK
Forward Line 4: 26 BERNIER, 18 MATTHIAS, 16 HORDICHUK
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 – 15 GORDON (lower body) IR, 17 KING (undisclosed) IR, 10 BRADLEY (broken finger) IR

Florida – 36 CULLEN (ruptured Achilles tendon) IR, 12 BITZ (lower body) IR

Caps Milestones:
Mike Knuble needs 1 point to reach 500 in his career.
Nicklas Backstrom needs 5 points to reach 300 in his career.

Preview:

After a tough 1-0 loss on Tuesday the Capitals are back in action on Saturday when they host the Florida Panthers. Florida is 5th in the division but shutout the Caps back on December 9th. Look for the Capitals to crash the net much more in this game in an effort to get more offense. Washington has had 3 days and needed some work done on their power play. The team has scored 2 power play goals in its last 5 games. Some very good defense and goaltending has kept the Capitals in the game but the inability to score cost them last game. Alex Ovechkin got a cortisone shot, in a undisclosed location and not for a recent injury, earlier this week and will be ready for the game Saturday. This may be one of the reasons for the mystery goal drop off this season. I expect another grind it out type game with Washington pressing the net for goals.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 FLA 1



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