Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Game #80 Preview: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs

Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto Ontario

When:  April 5, 2011, 7:00 PM

Caps Record on this Date: 8-2-3-1
Caps Game 80 Record: 21-10-3-0
All-Time vs. TOR: 57-49-10-5
All-Time at TOR: 21-28-6-3
Last Season vs. TOR: 2-1-1
Last Meeting: 1/22/11, WAS 4 TOR 1
Season Series: 2-0-1

This Year:
WAS Record: 46-22-11
Standings Points: 103
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 2nd
Last Game: 3/29/11, WAS 5 BUF 4 (OT)
Streak: Win 2

BUF Record: 37-32-10
Standings Points: 84
Division Rank: 4th
Conference Rank: 10th    
Last Game: 4/2/11, TOR 4 OTT 2
Streak: Win 3

Probable Line-Ups:     
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 18 STURM, 44 ARNOTT, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 21 LAICH, 90 JOHANSSON, 25 CHIMERA
Forward Line 4: 26 HENDRICKS, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 23 HANNAN
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 89 SLOAN, 62 SLOAN
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV

Forward Line 1: 81 KESSEL, 84 GRABOVSKI, 41 KULEMIN
Forward Line 2: 16 MACARTHUR, 42 BOZAK, 19 LUPUL
Forward Line 3: 43 KADRI, 47 BOYCE, 46 CRABB
Forward Line 4: 18 BROWN, 37 BRENT, 38 ROSEHILL
Defense Pair 1: 3 PHANEUF, 59 AULIE
Defense Pair 2: 2 SCHENN, 36 GUNNARSSON
Defense Pair 3: 8 KOMISAREK, 29 LASHOFF
Goalie: 34 REIMER
Back-up Goalie: 35 GIGUERE

Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, (upper body) IR, 52 GREEN (head) IR, 6 WIDEMAN (lower body) DTD, 4 ERSKINE (undisclosed) DTD

TOR – ORR (concussion) IR, ARMSTRONG (broken foot) IR

Caps Milestones:
Jason Chimera needs 3 goals to reach 100 in his career.
Alex Ovechkin needs 1 goal to reach 300 in his career.


The Capitals, with a severely banged up defense corps, head to the Air Canada Centre to face the Toronto Maple Leafs who are still fighting for a spot in the playoffs. The Leafs currently sit in the tenth position six points back of the eighth place Buffalo Sabres with 3 games remaining. A Washington win in regulation would mathematically eliminate Toronto. Washington will be looking to shore up its defensive game as the Caps have been losing defensemen as well as giving up goals in the third period in each of the last three games. They were able to pull out two overtime wins but in the other game they fell in the shootout. I would expect another good outing from Alex Ovechkin who appears ready to go after coming off the injured list last week. He scored a hat trick last time out against the Leafs and has 22 goals in 22 lifetime games against Toronto. I expect this will be another spirited affair between the two teams but I think the Leafs will be overwhelmed in the end.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 TOR 2

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