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, February 8, 2011

Gameday: vs. San Jose, Feb. 8

The Sharks' last visit to DC ended in a lopsided Capitals win.
The Washington Capitals will welcome the San Jose Sharks to Verizon Center tonight as they look to build on the momentum they created with two huge wins over the weekend.  Both teams have rosters loaded with talent, and both teams have underperformed this year by their standards. Coming into tonight's action, the Capitals currently stand second in the Southeast Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference with 68 points in 54 games played. The Sharks, on the other hand, are third in the Pacific Division and sixth in the West with 62 points in 53 games.  This matchup will be the first between these two sides this year; the teams split their season series last year, with each team winning at home by lopsided scores.

San Jose coach Todd McLellan will roll with Finnish goaltender Antti Niemi in nets for his squad this evening, coming off of his 2-0 shutout of the Bruins on Saturday at TD Garden.  After winning the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks last year, Niemi had a rough start to the season and at one point lost his job to Antero Niittymaki.  But over the last month, he has really turned up his play and will be a tough task for the Capitals' attack.

Michal Neuvirth will start for the Capitals in goal this evening following his 22-save shutout of the Penguins on Sunday.  In his only other career start against the Sharks in his career, he gave up 5 goals at HP Pavilion last season in a Capitals' loss.  Outside of the crease, Alexander Semin will finally make his return to game action for the Caps tonight following a one month absence due to a hip injury.  He is expected to skate on the second line with Mathieu Perreault and Mike Knuble. Mike Green will not play, however, after taking a puck to the head Sunday. Green took the morning skate today, and said he felt good, but is not at 100% so the Caps will not risk him.  He is, however, expected to play against the Kings on Saturday.  Tom Poti took the full morning skate, but will not play, which means that Tyler Sloan will see his first ice since mid December tonight as Green is unable to go.  Finally, Jay Beagle has been sent back down to AHL Hershey to clear room for Semin.  Beagle has played very well since his call up, and he and Andre Gordon will be the first to get a call if the Caps suffer a forward injury.  DJ King will be the lone healthy scratch this evening.

Puck drops for this one 7:07-ish.  Check back later.

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