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!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gameday: at Anaheim, Feb. 16

Semyon Varlamov will get a 2nd chance at the Ducks tonight.
The Washington Capitals are in Anaheim, California this evening for another critical game in their season as they try and right the ship after three consecutive disappointing losses.  The Capitals come into tonight's action with 68 standings points to their name in 57 games, which places them sixth in the Eastern Conference and second in the Southeast Division.  The Ducks, winners of three straight, have really mounted a charge as of late and have jumped up the Western Conference ladder over the last three weeks.  Anaheim comes into tonight's game with 68 points in 57 games as well, which is good for fourth in the Pacific Division and fourth in the Western Conference.  This is the second and final game between these two teams this season; the Ducks took the first game at Verizon Center in mid December by a 2-1 overtime score.

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle is expected to roll with All-Star netminder Jonas Hiller this evening in goal for his squad.  Hiller, a native of Switzerland, has performed well this year with a 2.50 goals against average, .925 save percentage, and five shutouts, including one his last time out against Edmonton. Hiller has had the Capitals' number in his career, always seeming to have big games against them, and stopped 31 of 32 when these teams last met at Verizon Center.

For the Capitals, Semyon Varlamov is expected to get the call for Bruce Boudreau to try and reverse the Capitals' fortunes once more after Michal Neuvirth lost Monday night in Phoenix.  This will be Varly's second start against the Ducks this season; he stopped 22 of 24 shots he faced during that overtime loss in December.  Outside of the blue paint, the Capitals recalled 23 year old defenseman Patrick McNeill from AHL Hershey yesterday to provide depth on the blue line as Mike Green works through his "inner-ear trauma" (CONCUSSION, COUGH).  McNeill has been a big part of the Bears' last two Calder Cup Championship runs, and may have been considered for a spot on the Capitals' opening night roster had he not had offseason shoulder surgery.  He has two goals and 13 points in 26 games for the Bears this year.  He will likely see active duty if Green cannot go tonight, or he may be inserted into the lineup to sit Tyler Sloan down (yes, please).  Eric Fehr is not expected to play tonight, but that may change after the morning skate.  Updates on his condition and Mike Green's status will come later.

Puck drops 10:07-ish for this one.  Check back later.

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