Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Game #68 Preview: Edmonton Oilers at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  March 9, 2011, 7:00 PM

Caps Record on this Date: 9-9-0-0
Caps Game 68 Record: 15-18-1-0
All-Time vs. EDM: 30-26-6-0
All-Time at home vs. EDM: 19-10-2-0
Last Season vs. EDM: 1-0-0
Last Meeting: 12/19/09, WAS 4 EDM 2
Season Series: 0-0-0

This Year:
WAS Record: 37-20-10
Standings Points: 84
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd
Last Game: 3/7/11, WAS 2 TAM 1 (OT-SO)
Streak: Won 5

EDM Record: 23-36-8
Standings Points: 54
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 15th    
Last Game: 3/8/11, EDM 1 PHI 4
Streak: Loss 1

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

Forward Line 1: 91 PAAVARVI, 10 HORCOFF, 14 EBERLE
Forward Line 2: 28 JONES, 89 GAGNE, 23 OMARK
Forward Line 3: 12 GIROUX, 13 COGILANO, 85 REDDOX
Forward Line 4: 22 JACQUES, 16 FRASER, 33 MACINTRYE
Defense Pair 1: 77 GILBERT, 5 SMID
Defense Pair 2: 2 VANDEMEER, 43 STRUDWICK
Defense Pair 3: 26 FOSTER, 48 PLANTE
Goalie: 40 DUBNYK
Back-up Goalie: 35 KHABIBULIN

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

EDM – CHORNEY (knee) IR, WHITNEY (ankle) IR, HALL (ankle) IR, PECKHAM (head) IR, HEMSKY (shoulder) 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 2 points to reach 600 in his career.
Dennis Wideman needs 1 point to reach 200 in his career.


The Capitals and their 5 game winning streak head home to face the Edmonton Oilers in the only meeting of the year between the two teams. The Capitals are looking to build more consistency into their play. They have been getting scoring from the two top lines but need to see a little more from the third and fourth lines as well as the defense. The defense has only scored once in the last 21 games. Combined with a power play is 0 for 14 in the last 6 games, you can see why each on the five wins in Washington’s streak has come by 1 goal. If the Caps can get some contribution in these areas then you will see a whole new team dynamic. I am hopeful that they can figure it out in the next 15 games. Tonight’s match up is a tough one for the Caps. The Oilers come to town with no pressure and no expectation. Edmonton sits in last place in the Western Conference and has a very young team who’s player are fighting to prove they belong in the NHL. They would like nothing better than to knock off the top team in the SE Division. I fully expect the Capitals to come away with the victory by at least a three goal edge.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 EDM 2

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