Friday, April 8, 2011

Game #82 Preview: Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers

Where: BankAtlantic Center, Sunshine, FL

When:  April 9, 2011, 7:00 PM

Caps Record on this Date: 5-0-1-0
Caps Game 82 Record: 8-5-1-2
All-Time vs. FLA: 48-33-9-7
All-Time at FLA: 23-19-4-2
Last Season vs. FLA: 6-0-0
Last Meeting: 4/6/11, WAS 5 FLA 2
Season Series: 4-1-1

This Year:
WAS Record: 48-22-11
Standings Points: 107
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st
Last Game: 4/6/11, WAS 5 FLA 2
Streak: Win 4

FLA Record: 29-40-12
Standings Points: 70
Division Rank: 5th
Conference Rank: 15th    
Last Game: 4/8/11, FLA 2 TAM 4
Streak: Lost 10

Probable Line-Ups:     
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 18 STURM, 44 ARNOTT, 16 FEHR
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: 4 ERSKINE, 62 COLLINS
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV

Forward Line 2: 10 BOOTH, 19 REASONER, 15 SKILLE
Forward Line 3: 63 DADONOV, 20 CARTER, 32 REPIK
Forward Line 4: 16 HORDICHUK, 18 MATTHIAS, 26 BERNIER
Defense Pair 1: 52 GARRISON, 43 WEAVER
Defense Pair 2: 4 ELLERBY, 7 KULIKOV
Defense Pair 3: 3 WILSON, 48 CALLAHAN
Back-up Goalie: 35 PLANTE

Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, (upper body) IR, 52 GREEN (head) IR, 6 WIDEMAN (lower body) DTD, 89 SLOAN (jaw) DTD, 28 SEMIN (wrist) DTD

FLA – WEISS (groin) DTD, SULZER (groin) IR, VOKOUN (back) DTD, TIMMINS (concussion) IR, OLESZ (knee) IR, BITZ (sports hernia) IR

Caps Milestones:
Jason Chimera needs 2 goals to reach 100 in his career.


In the last game of the regular season the Capitals and Florida Panthers meet in the sunshine state. For the Caps it is the stop for their season long wait to get back to the post season that went so wrong a year ago. For Florida it is the culmination of a tough year and the final chanced for the youngsters to show the GM that they belong in the big leagues. For one Capital, however, it is a return to ice and chance to play again. Mike Green is slated to play for the first time since being elbowed in the head by the Rangers’ Derek Stephan on February 25th which followed a slap shot to the head a week earlier. For the Caps it is some welcome relief to the blue line that has been ailing in the final two weeks of the season. Let’s hope Green has an uneventful game and can get back in the swing of things. Due to an overtime loss by Philly, Washington has captured its second consecutive Eastern Conference crown and, should they survive, home ice for at least the first three rounds of the playoffs.  Tomorrow’s game should interesting, will Head Coach Bruce Boudreau put out his playoff lineup for a final tune up or rest them for what he hopes is a long second season? One thing is for sure, this is not last year’s team. The Capitals have prided themselves on becoming a shutdown defensive team and allowed only 36 goals against in their last 19 games. That’s an average of 1.89 goals against. They played tough competition and compiled a record of 16-2-1 over those games. The Caps should be feeling good about themselves but they do have one game to play. I think they put this one away early and get ready for the show.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 FLA 1

Official Preview

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