Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Game #72 Preview: Washington Capitals at Detroit Red Wings



Where: Joe Lewis Arena, Detroit, MI

When:  March 16, 2011, 7:30 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 11-6-1-0
Caps Game 72 Record: 15-13-5-1
All-Time vs. DET: 38-42-16-2
All-Time at DET: 15-21-11-2
Last Season vs. DET: 1-1-0
Last Meeting: 1/19/10, WAS 3 DET 2
Season Series: 0-0-0

This Year:
WAS Record: 41-20-10
Standings Points: 92
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd
Last Game: 3/15/11, WAS 4 MON 2
Streak: Won 9

DET Record: 41-20-8
Standings Points: 90
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd    
Last Game: 3/12/11, DET 5 STL 3
Streak: Won 2

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 21 LAICH, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 2: 18 STURM, 90 JOHANSSON, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 83 BEAGLE, 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

Detroit
Forward Line 1: 40 ZETTERBERG, 13 DATSYUK, 93 FRANZEN
Forward Line 2: 11 CLEARY, 51 FILPPULA, 44 BERTUZZI
Forward Line 3: 26 HUDLER, 90 MODANO, 8 ABDELKADER
Forward Line 4: 20 MILLER, 43 HELM, 96 HOLMSTROM
Defense Pair 1: 5 LIDSTROM, 23 STUART
Defense Pair 2: 52 ERICSSON, 55 KRONWALL
Defense Pair 3: 4 KINDL, 24 SALEI
Goalie: 35 HOWARD
Back-up Goalie: 30 OSGOOD

Injuries:
Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, (upper body) IR, 52 GREEN (head) IR, 1 VARLAMOV (undisclosed) DTD, 19 BACKSTROM (hand) DTD, 44 ARNOTT (undisclosed) DTD

DET – EAVES (groin) DTD, RAFALSKI (back) DTD

Caps Milestones:
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:

This will be the biggest test of the season for the Capitals as they head into Detroit to take on the Red Wings. The two teams are even in the standings and have the talent to match. The Capitals will look to extend their winning streak to 10 games and take over the top spot in the Eastern Conference. They are playing much more consistent hockey lately and have started score on the power play. This has been a thorn in the side of the team for most of the year and if they expect to compete with Detroit they will need contributions from the special teams. The Caps will be without Mike Green, Jason Arnott, and possibly Nicklas Backstrom so they will need a full team effort to prevail tonight. Look for a tight checking game with lots of speed. The key for the Caps is to win the board battles and keep the Wings to outside as much as possible. I expect this game to be very close but the Caps have been playing well and have lots of confidence so look for a third period breakout.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 DET 2

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