Monday, March 7, 2011

Game #67 Preview: Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL

When:  March 7, 2011, 7:00 PM

Caps Record on this Date: 6-7-0-0
Caps Game 67 Record: 17-12-4-1
All-Time vs. TAM: 61-27-6-5
All-Time at TAM: 29-16-2-2
Last Season vs. TAM: 4-2-0
Last Meeting: 2/4/11, WAS 5 TAM 2
Season Series: 3-1-1

This Year:
WAS Record: 36-20-10
Standings Points: 82
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 3/6/11, WAS 3 FLA 2 (OT)
Streak: Won 4

TAM Record: 37-21-7
Standings Points: 81
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th    
Last Game: 3/5/11, TAM 2 MON 4
Streak: Loss 3

Probable Line-Ups:     
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: 70 HOLTBY

Tampa Bay
Forward Line 1: 26 ST. LOUIS, 91 STAMKOS, 9 DOWNIE
Forward Line 2: 12 GAGNE, 4 LECAVALIER, 16 PURCELL
Forward Line 3: 10 BERGENHEIM, 19 MOORE, 18 HALL
Forward Line 4: 44 THOMPSON, 42 TYRELL, 21 RITOLA
Defense Pair 1: 2 BREWER, 5 OHLUND
Defense Pair 2: 7 CLARK, 77 HEDMAN
Defense Pair 3: 8 JONES, 13 KUBINA
Goalie: 35 ROLOSON
Back-up Goalie: 41 SMITH

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

TAM – 6 MALONE (body) IR, 39 LUNDIN (body) IR

Caps Milestones:
Brooks Laich needs 2 goals to reach 100 in his career.
Jason Arnott needs 3 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 1 point to reach 900 in his career.
Alex Ovechkin needs 3 points to reach 600 in his career.
Dennis Wideman needs 2 points to reach 200 in his career.


A four game winning streak and seven wins in their last nine games is how the Caps are playing as of late. However, every one of those wins was by one goal and the power play has connected on 3 of 21 chances while the penalty kill has given up 6 on 30 chances in that stretch. The good news is that the Caps are finding ways to win and the addition of Arnott, Wideman, and Sturm has made a good impact following the trade deadline. The face the team they replaced at the top of the SE Division tonight in Tampa. The Bolts are going through a rough patch recently and have lost their last three contests. But remember that this is a rivalry game that will be as intense as any game this season. The teams don’t like one another and it should be a very physical affair. The Capitals can look forward to having Alexander Semin back in the lineup after missing the last two against Tampa. In the first three meeting Semin compiled 6 goals and 2 assists. Look for him to give a big effort tonight. I expect the Caps to surge in this one and start putting some room in the standings between them and Tampa.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 TAM 3

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