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!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gameday: vs. Los Angeles, Feb. 12

Alex Ovechkin skates with the puck against the Kings last season.
The Capitals will welcome the Los Angeles Kings to the Verizon Center ice this afternoon for their one and only meeting this season. The Capitals currently stand second in the Southeast Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference with 68 standings points; while the disappointing Kings are in last in the Pacific Division and tenth in the West with 61 points.  However, the Kings have beaten the Capitals the last two times they have played them, including an impressive 2-1 victory last January 2 at Staples Center.  An interesting tidbit about that game: it was the last game that Alex Ovechkin played as an alternate before he was named captain of the Capitals. This season the Kings, like the Capitals, have failed to live up to expectations so far after their breakout campaign last year that saw them make the postseason for the first time in almost 10 years.  Despite this, they still have a ton of talent and will be a tough task for the Capitals, as they do not have a win against a Western Conference team this season.

The Kings are expected to start star goalie Jonathan Quick in nets for the third consecutive game.  The young American is coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to Pittsburgh, which snapped a streak of five consecutive winning starts.  In his career, Quick is perfect against the Caps, with a 2-0 record.  He allowed 5 goals in those two games for a 2.50 GAA.

For the Capitals, Semyon Varlamov is expected to get the call in nets from Bruce Boudreau after Michal Neuvirth lost to the Sharks on Tuesday.  Varlamov was forced to miss time late last week with an illness, but he is good to go now and should be the starter today.  He has never faced the Kings in his career.  Outside of the crease, Capitals defenseman Mike Green is expected to make his return to the lineup after missing one game due to concussion-like symptoms.  Green suffered the injury when he took a Brooks Orpik slapshot to the side of the head on Sunday.  Green's return means that Tyler Sloan will return to the press box with DJ King as a healthy scratch.

Puck drops 12:37-ish.  Check back later.

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