Saturday, February 19, 2011

Game #60 Preview: Washington Capitals at Buffalo Sabres


Where: HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY

When:  February 20, 2011, 12:30 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 4-7-2-1
Caps Game 60 Record: 18-12-3-1
All-Time vs. BUF: 39-77-15-3
All-Time at BUF: 19-41-6-1
Last Season vs. BUF: 3-1-0
Last Meeting: 11/17/10, WAS 4 BUF 2
Season Series: 1-0-1

This Year:
WAS Record: 30-19-10
Standings Points: 70
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th
Last Game: 2/17/11, WAS 1 SAN 3
Streak: Loss 1

BUF Record: 27-24-6
Standings Points: 60
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 9th    
Last Game: 2/18/11, BUF 0 STL 3
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: 26 HENDRICKS, 90 JOHANSSON, 25 CHIMERA
Forward Line 4: 39 STECKEL, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 23 HANNAN, 55 SCHULTZ
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3:89 SLOAN, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV
Back-up Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH

Buffalo
Forward Line 1: GERBE, HECHT, POMINVILLE
Forward Line 2: ENNIS, CONNOLLY, STAFFORD
Forward Line 3: VANEK, BYRON, MCCORMICK
Forward Line 4: GRIER, GAUSTAD, KALETA
Defense Pair 1: SEKERA, MEYERS
Defense Pair 2: LEOPOLD, MONTADOR
Defense Pair 3: MORRISONN, WEBER
Goalie: MILLER
Back-up Goalie: LALIME

Injuries:
Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, 16 FEHR (upper body) IR, 52 GREEN (inner ear) DTD

BUF – 9 ROY (left quad) IR

Caps Milestones:
Jason Chimera needs 4 goals to reach 100 in his career.
Brooks Laich needs 4 goals to reach 100 in his career.
Alex Ovechkin needs 3 assists to reach 300 in his career.

Preview:

After a up and down week the Caps have a Sunday matinée meeting with the Buffalo Sabres. Historically, the Capitals have not fared well against Sabres especially in Buffalo. They won only 19 of 66 games in the wing capital. The team really needs a win and start putting together the pieces if they want to contend in the post season. The good news is that Alex Ovechkin is beginning to look like his former self. He is playing with reckless abandon and his goal total is rising. The Caps are still working on the power play but a goal with the extra man in two consecutive games is a foundation to build on. Ovechkin scored both of the power play goals and is the key to the unit. The Sabres are in desperation territory as they currently sit in ninth position in the East. They are 4 points out of the last playoff spot so expect a determined group to show up against the Caps. I expect this game to be low scoring and physical but the Caps special teams will determine the outcome. I’m looking for another power play goal from Ovechkin.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 BUF 1



No comments:

Add This