Monday, February 7, 2011

Game #55 Preview: San Jose Sharks at Washington Capitals


  

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC


When:  February 8, 2011, 7:00 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 6-5-3-0
Caps Game 55 Record: 15-13-4-2
All-Time vs. SAN: 9-16-1-1
All-Time at home vs. SAN: 6-7-0-1
Last Season vs. SAN: 1-1-0
Last Meeting: 12/30/09, WAS 2 SAN 5
Season Series: 0-0-0

This Year:
WAS Record: 29-15-10
Standings Points: 68
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th
Last Game: 2/6/11, WAS 3 PIT 0
Streak: Win 2

SAN Record: 28-19-6
Standings Points: 62
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th    
Last Game: 2/5/11, SAN 2 BOS 0
Streak: Won 3

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 25 CHIMERA
Forward Line 2: 21 LAICH, 85 PERRAULT, 83 BEAGLE
Forward Line 3: 26 HENDRICKS, 90 JOHANSSON, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 4: 39 STECKEL, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 52 GREEN, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 23 HANNAN, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV
Back-up Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH

San Jose
Forward Line 1: 12 MARLEAU, 19 THORNTON, 15 HEATLEY
Forward Line 2: 29 CLOWE, 8 PAVELSKI, 16 SETOGUCHI
Forward Line 3: 55 EAGER, 39 COUTURE, 20 WELLWOOD
Forward Line 4: 10 MAYERS, 21 NICHOL, 78 FERRIERO
Defense Pair 1: 3 MURRAY, 22 BOYLE
Defense Pair 2: 44 VLASIC, 40 HUSKINS
Defense Pair 3: 7 WALLIN, 60 DEMERS
Goalie: 31 NIEMI
Back-up Goalie: 34 HUTTON

Injuries:
Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, 28 SEMIN (hip) DTD, 16 FEHR (upper body) DTD, 89 SLOAN (lower body) DTD

SAN – 17 MITCHELL (lower body) IR

Caps Milestones:
Matt Bradley’s next game will be his 400th as a Capital.
Jason Chimera needs 4 goals to reach 100 in his career.
Brooks Laich needs 5 goals to reach 100 in his career.
Alex Ovechkin needs 5 assists to reach 300 in his career.

Preview:

After two big victories the Capitals cannot rest on their laurels as the San Jose Sharks come to the Phone Booth for an inter-conference battle. Both teams are sitting in fifth place in their respective conferences and are looking to make a move up the standings. Washington has been relying on good defense, goal tending and penalty killing to win. They have allowed just 26 goals against in the last 16 games and are looking to continue that trend. The Sharks bring a combination of size, skill and talent to this match up but find themselves battling for a playoff spot with their stars not performing as expected. It sounds familiar to Washington’s situation and should make this a great game to watch. Look for an intense game with lots of pace. The key will be the play of both teams #1 line. I expect the Ovechkin line to breakout early in this one and the Caps defense to hold them in for a close victory.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 SAN 2


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