Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Game #43 Preview: Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers


Where: BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, FL

When:  January 11, 2011, 7:30 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 8-11-3-0
Caps Game 43 Record: 15-15-5-0
All-Time vs. FLA: 46-33-9-6
All-Time at FLA: 22-19-4-1
Last Season vs. FLA 6-0-0
Last Meeting: 1/8/11, WAS 3 FLA 2

This Year:
WAS Record: 24-12-6
Standings Points: 54
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th
Last Game: 1/8/11, WAS 3 FLA 2
Streak: Win 1

FLA Record: 18-20-2
Standings Points: 38
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 11th    
Last Game: 1/8/11, FLA 2 WAS 3
Streak: Loss 3

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 25 CHIMERA, 85 PERRAULT, 14 FEHR
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 90 JOHANSSON, 83 BEAGLE
Forward Line 4: 17 KING, 26 HENDRICKS, 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, 28 SEMIN (thigh) DTD

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

Caps Milestones:
Nicklas Backstrom needs 4 points to reach 300 in his career.

Preview:

The Capitals are headed for a two day tour of Florida with back-to-back games against the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The last game saw the Caps beat the Panthers in a one goal game. The Capitals are still struggling on the power play but got goals from two of their big guns, Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green. Alexander Semin was injured in the game and did not make the trip to Florida. Boyd Gordon did make the trip and may see action at some point this week. I expect the rematch with the Panthers to go about the same as the game on Saturday with both teams grinding and the game won or lost in the corner battles. The Washington penalty kill is playing stellar hockey and have not allowed a goal in 27 shorthanded opportunities. Look for more of the same in this one with the power play getting back in gear.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 FLA 1

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