Thursday, March 3, 2011

Game #65 Preview: St. Louis Blues at Washington Capitals



Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  March 3, 2011, 7:00 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 10-5-1-0
Caps Game 65 Record: 12-16-5-1
All-Time vs. STL: 36-36-12-1
All-Time at home vs. STL: 22-14-4-0
Last Season vs. STL: 0-0-1
Last Meeting: 12/1/10, WAS 4 STL 1
Season Series: 1-0-0

This Year:
WAS Record: 34-20-10
Standings Points: 78
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th
Last Game: 3/1/11, WAS 2 NYI 1
Streak: Win 2

STL Record: 28-26-9
Standings Points: 65
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 13th
Last Game: 3/1/11, STL 0 CAL 6
Streak: Lost 2

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 21 LAICH, 44 ARNOTT, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3:18 STURM, 90 JOHANSSON, 25 CHIMERA
Forward Line 4: 26 HENDRICKS, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 23 HANNAN, 6 WIDEMAN
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 55 SCHULTZ, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: ???

St. Louis
Forward Line 1: 10 MCDONALD, 42 BACKES, 36 D’AGOSTINI
Forward Line 2: 74 OSHIE, 21 BERGLUND, 25 STEWART
Forward Line 3: 32 PORTER, 20 STEEN, 26 CROMBEEN
Forward Line 4: 75 REAVES, 79 CRACKNELL, 55 JANSSEN
Defense Pair 1: 5 JACKMAN, 46 POLAK
Defense Pair 2: 28 COLAIACOVO, 33 STRACHAN
Defense Pair 3: 12 SHATTENKIRK, 27 PIETRANGELO
Goalie: 29 CONKLIN
Back-up Goalie: 30 BISHOP

Injuries:
Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, 16 FEHR (upper body) IR, 52 GREEN (head) DTD, 1 VARLAMOV (undisclosed) DTD

STL – SOBOTKA (foot) IR, MCRAE (lower body) IR, HALAK (hand) IR, PERRON (concussion) IR

Caps Milestones:
Brooks Laich needs 2 goals to reach 100 in his career.
Jason Arnott needs 4 goals to reach 400 in his career.
Jason Chimera needs 4 goals to reach 100 in his career.
Alex Ovechkin needs 6 goals to reach 300 in his career.
Jason Arnott needs 2 points to reach 900 in his career.
Alex Ovechkin needs 6 points to reach 600 in his career.
Dennis Wideman needs 2 points to reach 200 in his career.

Preview:

The Capitals escaped last game with a win and will look to build on that performance. I am hearing a lot of good things from the new guys, especially Jason Arnott who seems primed to take this team to the next level. We’ll keep an eye on him as the regular season finishes out. Tonight’s opponent was a seller at deadline which means there are a team with nothing to lose and most of their roster is playing for a spot next season. This makes them a very dangerous team to face. Washington needs to get out to a good start and squash any momentum the Blues may have. I expect the Caps’ top two lines to be dominant in the offensive zone and Washington comes away with the win. 

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 STL 2

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