Saturday, March 12, 2011

Game #70 Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Washington Capitals


Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  March 13, 2011, 12:30 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 5-6-1-0
Caps Game 70 Record: 15-14-4-1
All-Time vs. CHI: 35-38-11-1
All-Time at home vs. CHI: 22-15-5-1
Last Season vs. CHI: 1-0-0
Last Meeting: 3/14/10, WAS 4 CHI 3
Season Series: 0-0-0

This Year:
WAS Record: 39-20-10
Standings Points: 88
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd
Last Game: 3/11/11, WAS 2 CAR 1
Streak: Won 7

CHI Record: 37-24-7
Standings Points: 81
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th    
Last Game: 3/9/11, CHI 3 TAM 4 (OT-SO)
Streak: Loss 2

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 90 JOHANSSON, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 18 STURM, 44 ARNOTT, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 21 LAICH, 16 FEHR
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

Chicago
Forward Line 1: 10 SHARP, 19 TOEWS, 88 KANE
Forward Line 2: 29 BICKELL, 36 BOLLAND, 81 HOSSA
Forward Line 3: 67 FROLIK, 28 DOWELL, 22 BROUWER
Forward Line 4: 25 STALBERG, 17 JOHNSON, 82 KOPECKY
Defense Pair 1: 2 KEITH, 8 LEDDY
Defense Pair 2: 51 CAMPBELL, 14 CAMPOLI
Defense Pair 3: 7 SEABROOK, 4 HJALMARSSON
Goalie: 50 CRAWFORD
Back-up Goalie: 30 TURCO

Injuries:
Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, (upper body) IR, 52 GREEN (head) IR, 1 VARLAMOV (undisclosed) DTD, 19 BACKSTROM (hand) DTD

CHI – HENDRY (knee) 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 3 goals to reach 300 in his career.

Preview:

The Capitals hope to give the defending Stanley Cup Champs a rude welcome to the Verizon Center in a Sunday noontime game that will be broadcast nationwide. The Caps are rolling on a 7-game winning streak with 6 of those victories coming by one goal. The Blackhawks are 8-1-1 over their last 10 games so this will be a good measuring stick for the boys from Washington. I expect this to be a tight playoff type game with both teams playing a defense first system. During the only meeting between the two teams a year ago, Alex Ovechkin was ejected for a hit on Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell. Whether there will be payback remains to be seen. Ovechkin is an a 7-game scoring streak and has scored 3 goals in the last two games. Look for a physical grinding type game with the team making the most mistakes paying the price. I am thinking that the Caps pull this one out with the power play stepping up to the challenge.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 CHI 2


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