Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gameday: vs. Tampa Bay, Jan. 4

28, 74 celebrate a goal vs. TB
The Washington Capitals welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning to Verizon Center tonight for a crucial Southeast Division matchup.  The Lightning and the Capitals are tied atop the division with 51 points each this season, but the Lightning have a game in hand on the Caps, making them the technical first place team.  This will be the third of six meetings between the two teams this season, all of which have come at Verizon Center.  The Caps won the first two by scores of 6-3 and 6-0, respectively.

As first reported yesterday, Dwayne Roloson will make his first start for his new team tonight after being traded from the Islanders to the Lightning over the weekend.  Semyon Varlamov is expected to get the nod from coach Bruce Boudreau, as he has won three consecutive and was just named the NHL's first star of the week.

In terms of lineup changes for the Caps, only one is expected, as Tom Poti has recovered sufficiently from his head injury and is "almost certain" to play tonight.  If he does, that means John Erskine will join Tyler Sloan and DJ King in the press box as the scratches.  Poti has not played since December 23 when he took a stick from Mark Letestu up high in the first Penguins game.  He has proven to be an instrumental piece of the Caps' defense and he and Jeff Schultz will be crucial to shutting down Vinny Lecavalier, as John Carlson and Karl Alzner will likely draw the Bolts' top unit with Steven Stamkos.

Puck drops 7:07-ish.  Check back later.

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