Monday, March 28, 2011

Game #77 Preview: Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals




Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  March 29, 2011, 7:00 PM

History:           
Caps Record on this Date: 8-2-5-1
Caps Game 77 Record: 16-14-2-2
All-Time vs. CAR: 41-23-7-5
All-Time at home vs. CAR: 23-11-2-1
Last Season vs. CAR: 3-1-2
Last Meeting: 3/11/11, WAS 2 CAR 1
Season Series: 5-0-0

This Year:
WAS Record: 44-22-10
Standings Points: 98
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd
Last Game: 3/26/11, WAS 2 MON 0
Streak: Win 1

CAR Record: 35-30-10
Standings Points: 80
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 9th    
Last Game: 3/26/11, CAR 2 TAM 4
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 21 LAICH, 19 BACKSTROM, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 2: 18 STURM, 90 JOHANSSON, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 83 BEAGLE, 26 HENDRICKS
Forward Line 4: 17 KING, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 6 WIDEMAN
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 23 HANNAN, 4 ERSKINE
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV

Carolina
Forward Line 1: 61 STILLMAN, 12 STAAL, 26 COLE
Forward Line 2: 53 SKINNER, 36 JOKINEN, 15 RUUTU
Forward Line 3: 19 TLUSTY, 16 SUTTER, 59 LAROSE
Forward Line 4: 21 BOWMAN, 39 DWYER, 71 SAMSON
Defense Pair 1: 6 GLEASON, 77 CORVO
Defense Pair 2: 4 MCBAIN, 33 JOSLIN
Defense Pair 3: 5 ALLEN, 44 HARRISON
Goalie: 30 WARD
Back-up Goalie: 60 PETERS

Injuries:
Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, (upper body) IR, 52 GREEN (head) IR, 8 OVECHKIN (undisclosed) DTD, 44 ARNOTT (undisclosed) DTD

CAR – PITKANEN (illness) 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 2 goals to reach 300 in his career.

Preview:

After a successful road trip the Capitals head home to face a desperate Carolina team who is currently in the ninth spot in the conference and trail the Buffalo Sabres by 5 points. Washington cannot afford a letdown that often happen when a team finally gets home after a long trip on the road. It is still undetermined if Alex Ovechkin or Jason Arnott will back in the Capitals lineup. The two have been out with injury and the team is being judicious in their approach to bringing them back. I expect this game to be another fast paced game with a playoff type pace. Look for Carolina to try to get the lead early but the Caps have been much better in the defensive zone lately only allowing 16 goals against in their last 10 games. Nicklas Backstrom has been hot since coming off the injury list with 4 points in the last 3 games. Look for him to continue against the Hurricanes and the Caps to pull out another close one.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 CAR 2

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