Saturday, February 26, 2011

Game #63 Preview: Washington Capitals at New York Islanders



Where: Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, NY

When:  February 26, 2011, 7:00 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 10-5-1-0
Caps Game 63 Record: 17-13-3-1
All-Time vs. NYI: 89-79-13-3
All-Time at NYI: 43-46-2-1
Last Season vs. NYI: 3-0-1
Last Meeting: 1/20/11, WAS 2 NYI 1
Season Series: 2-0-0

This Year:
WAS Record: 32-20-10
Standings Points: 74
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th
Last Game: 2/25/11, WAS 0 NYR 6
Streak: Loss 1

NYI Record: 23-31-8
Standings Points: 54
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 15th
Last Game: 2/24/11, NYI 3 PHI 4 (OT)
Streak: Lost 2

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 21 LAICH, 90 JOHANSSON, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 26 HENDRICKS, 85 PERRAULT, 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

New York
Forward Line 1: 26 MOULSON, 91 TAVARES, 15 PARENTEAU
Forward Line 2: 40 GRABNER, 51 NIELSEN, 21 OKPOSO
Forward Line 3: 57 COMEAU, 12 BAILEY, 44 SCHREMP
Forward Line 4: 17 MARTIN, 28 KONOPKA, 59 HALEY
Defense Pair 1: 47 MACDONALD, 36 HAMONIC
Defense Pair 2: 38 HILLEN, 8 GERVAIS
Defense Pair 3: 71 KATIC, 6 WISHART
Goalie: 35 MONTOYA
Back-up Goalie: 52 LAWSON

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

NYI – DIPIETRO (facial fracture) IR, EATON (hip) IR, HUNTER (knee) IR, JURCINA (groin) IR, MARTINEK (lower body) IR, MATTAU (hip) IR, POULIN (knee) IR, STREIT (shoulder) IR, WEIGHT (back) 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 2 assists to reach 300 in his career.

Preview:

The Capitals will try to rebound from another blowout loss to the New York Rangers. The team heads to Long Island for the front end of a home-and-home two game set with the Islanders. The Capitals have been trying to put all the pieces together but have been consistently inconsistent for quite a while. The Caps are 14-11-7 in their last 32 games and have just 20 games remaining in the regular season. At some point they are going to need to pick up the pace or they will be left in the dust. The Islanders have just 54 points in the standings but have gone 6-3-1 in their last 10 games so this is no cakewalk. New York is playing a more aggressive style of play complete with some ol’ time hockey brawlers. Look for this one to be a chippy, physical affair with both teams attempting to keep the other to the outside. The key for the Capitals is to get the first goal and build their confidence. I expect the Caps to come out flying in this one a put up some good offense.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 NYI 2


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