Friday, January 14, 2011

Game #45 Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  January 14, 2011, 7:00 PM

Caps Record on this Date: 7-5-1-0
Caps Game 45 Record: 15-14-5-1
All-Time vs. VAN: 39-34-9-1
All-Time at home vs. VAN: 23-15-4-0
Last Season vs. VAN 0-1-0
Last Meeting: 12/18/09, WAS 2 VAN 3

This Year:
WAS Record: 24-13-7
Standings Points: 55
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th
Last Game: 1/12/11, WAS 0 TAM 3
Streak: Loss 2

VAN Record: 28-9-6
Standings Points: 62
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st    
Last Game: 1/13/11, VAN 0 NYR 1
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:     
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: 26 HENDRICKS, 15 GORDON, 39 STECKEL
Defense Pair 1: 52 GREEN, 23 HANNAN
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 55 SCHULTZ,
Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV
Back-up Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH

Forward Line 1: 22 D. SEDIN, 33 H. SEDIN, 14 BURROWS
Forward Line 2: 21 RAYMOND, 17 KESLER, 23 HANSEN
Forward Line 3: 13 TORRES, 27 MALHOTRA, 26 SAMUELSSON
Forward Line 4: 15 GLASS, 10 TAMBELLINI, 54 VOLPATTI
Defense Pair 1: 23 EDLER, 5 EHRHOFF
Defense Pair 2: 2 HAMHUIS, 3 BIEKSA
Defense Pair 3: 29 ROME, 4 BALLARD
Goalie: 1 LUONGO
Back-up Goalie: 35 SCHNEIDER

Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, 17 KING (undisclosed) IR, 10 BRADLEY (broken finger) IR, 28 SEMIN (hip) DTD

VAN – 6 SALO (Achilles) IR, 37 RYPIEN (personal)

Caps Milestones:
Nicklas Backstrom needs 3 points to reach 300 in his career.


Vancouver, and their best overall record in the NHL, comes calling to the Verizon Center for a meeting with the Capitals. The Canucks have been scoring in bunches and will test the improved defense of the Washington Capitals. Look for Karl Alzner and John Carlson to be on the ice against the Sedins’ line as they try to shut down the twins who have combined for 110 points this season. The Capitals will need to ramp up their offense and start converting on the power play if they want to win this game. The power play has been a sore spot for most of the season and the team has scored just once with the man advantage in the last 4 games. The big bright spot for the Capitals has been the play of their two young goalies. Both have turned in solid performances and kept the team in a lot of games they otherwise would be blown out of. I expect a more prepared team in action for the Capitals in this game. The team seems to get up for the high profile games. Look for a high intensity game with lots of scoring chances. Nicklas Backstrom is poised for a big game so watch out for him.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 VAN 3

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