Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Game #72 Preview: Washington Capitals at Montreal Canadians


Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

When:  March 15, 2011, 7:00 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 5-7-1-1
Caps Game 71 Record: 14-13-5-2
All-Time vs. MON: 54-67-17-3
All-Time at MON: 21-39-8-2
Last Season vs. MON: 2-1-1
Last Meeting: 2/1/11, WAS 2 MON 3 (OT-SO)
Season Series: 1-0-1

This Year:
WAS Record: 40-20-10
Standings Points: 90
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd
Last Game: 3/13/11, WAS 4 CHI 3 (OT)
Streak: Won 8

MON Record: 38-24-7
Standings Points: 83
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 6th    
Last Game: 3/12/11, MON 3 PIT 0
Streak: Won 1

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

Montreal
Forward Line 1: 32 MOEN, 11 GOMEZ, 21 GIONTA
Forward Line 2: 13 CAMMALLERI, 14 PLEKANEC, 15 HALPERN
Forward Line 3: 46 KOSTITSYN, 81 ELLER, 53 WHITE
Forward Line 4: 94 PYATT, 58 DESHARNAIS, 57 POULIOT
Defense Pair 1: 44 HAMRLIK, WISNIEWSKI
Defense Pair 2: 75 GILL, 76 SUBBAN
Defense Pair 3: 22 MARA, 68 WEBER
Goalie: 31 PRICE
Back-up Goalie: 35 AULD

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

MON – PACIORETTY (concussion, broken neck) IR, MARKOV (knee) IR, GORGES (knee) IR, SPACEK (knee) IR, DARCHE (groin) DTD, SOPEL (upper body) DTD

Caps Milestones:
Brooks Laich needs 1 goal to reach 100 in his career.
Jason Arnott needs 2 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:

Last season the Capitals had a 14-game winning streak that ended at the hands of the Montreal Canadians. Washington is counting on this season being a different outcome as the Caps bring their 8-game winning streak north of the border for a tilt with Montreal. In their last meeting the Caps gave up a lead late in regulation and fell in the shootout. Washington has been progressing quite well since then and is on the verge of overtaking the Flyers as Eastern Conference leaders. But first things first, this battle with the Canadians will be a fast paced affair that the Capitals will need to win along the boards. The team that wants the puck more will come away with the victory. For the Capitals, the good news is that the power play is showing signs of life and the penalty kill is still going very well. If the Caps start getting regular production out of their power play then watch out NHL because these guys will be extremely tough to beat. I expect this game to be quite physical and be decided in the third period. Look for Alex Ovechkin to get involved early and often and as he often does make something incredible happen.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 MON 1

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