Friday, April 29, 2011

Playoff Round 2 Game #1 Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  April 29, 2011, 7:00 PM

All-Time Playoff Series Record vs. TAM: 0-1
All-Time Playoff Game Record vs. TAM: 2-4
Last Meeting: 2003, WAS 2 TAM 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 48-22-11
Standings Points: 107
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st

TAM Record: 46-25-11
Standings Points: 103
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th    

2010-2011 Regular Season Series: 4-1-1
Nov. 11, 2010 WAS 6 TAM 3
Nov. 26, 2010 WAS 6 TAM 0
Jan. 4, 2011 WAS 0 TAM 1 (OT)
Jan. 12, 2011 WAS 0 TAM 3
Feb. 4, 2011 WAS 5 TAM 2
Mar. 7, 2011 WAS 2 TAM 1 (OT-SO)

Playoff Series Schedule and Results:
Apr. 29, 2011 at Washington
May 01, 2011 at Washington
May 03, 2011 at Tampa
May 04, 2011 at Tampa
May 07, 2011 at Washington*
May 09, 2011 at Tampa*
May 11, 2011 at Washington*
*If required

Probable Line-Ups:     
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 21 LAICH
Forward Line 2: 18 STURM, 44 ARNOTT, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 90 JOHANSSON, 16 FEHR
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, 52 GREEN
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV

Forward Line 1: 12 GAGNE, 91 STAMKOS, 9 DOWNIE
Forward Line 2: 16 PURCELL, 4 LECAVALIER, 26 ST. LOUIS
Forward Line 3: 6 MALONE, 19 MOORE, 10 BERGENHEIM
Forward Line 4: 18 HALL, 44 THOMPSON, 42 TYRELL
Defense Pair 1: 2 BREWER, 39 LUNDIN
Defense Pair 2: 7 CLARK, 5 OHLUND
Defense Pair 3: 13 KUBINA, 77 HEDMAN
Goalie: 35 ROLOSON
Back-up Goalie: 41 SMITH

Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, 6 WIDEMAN (lower body) DTD, 22 KNUBLE (hand) DTD

TAM – None


The Capitals second round opponent is Southeast Division foe Tampa Bay Lightning. Washington advanced last Saturday against New York and has been waiting around to see whom they would next face. The Lightning series went to seven games with the Bolts winning just two nights ago. The two teams are intimately familiar with one another and it will be interesting to see how Game #1 unfolds. Will the Caps be rusty, will Tampa be tired or will both teams come out flying? I’m thinking the later. These teams don’t get along well and have players that can light up the scoreboard. In the first round Alex Ovechkin led Washington in scoring but he led the League in hits and played just 5 games. In the regular season the Capitals went 4-1-1 against Tampa but the two losses came in shutouts to Lightning starting goalie Dwayne Roloson. Roloson was the key to victory in the first round and led the League in save percentage in the first round. At the other end of the ice, Capitals rookie goalie Michal Neuvirth led the League in goals against average and was second in save percentage. This series will be a little more wide open with less grinding but secondary scoring will be a major factor in the series. Watch Alexander Semin, who scored 7 goals in 4 regular season games against the Lightning this year, to be the difference maker in this series. It’s going to be a battle to shut down the big time scorers and I see the Caps doing it in 6. Game #1 will see a hungry well rested Capitals team take it to the Lightning with the big guns firing on all cylinders.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 5 TAM 2

1 comment:

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