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!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Gameday: at New Jersey, Mar. 18

The Caps put up a 5 spot in their last game against the Devils.
The Washington Capitals are in New Jersey tonight for a game with the white hot Devils as they look to get back on the horse following their loss in Detroit on Wednesday. The Capitals come into tonight's game with 92 points in 72 games, which places them first in the Southeast Division and second in the Eastern Conference.  The Devils, who many thought to be dead in December, have come roaring back over the last nine weeks and have posted a ridiculous 23-4-2 record since January 9 to come within striking distance for a playoff spot.  As such, New Jersey stands fourth in the Atlantic Division and twelfth in the East with 70 points in 70 games played.  This will be the first time that David Steckel will face his former team since being traded for Jason Arnott on February 28th, and is the fourth and final regular season meeting between these two teams this year.

Jacques Lemaire is expected to start the backbone of the Devils franchise, Martin Brodeur, in nets for his team.  Brodeur is coming off a 22-save performance last night in which the Devils lost 3-1, he allowed two goals.  The veteran has struggled with inconsistency and injuries this season, resulting in a mortal 2.50 GAA and .902 Save%, but he is still Martin F. Brodeur and will be a huge task for the undermanned Capitals.  On the injury front, New Jersey is still missing Zach Parise, their best player, as he recovers from knee surgery; he will not play tonight.

For the Capitals, it is a pure toss-up as to who will be in goal tonight; my money is on Michal Neuvirth as he needs to get ready for the playoffs, but Boudreau could just as easily go with Braden Holtby, who is the hot hand at the moment. Neuvirth is 2-0 against the Devils this year, allowing 3 goals on 69 shots; Holtby is 0-1, allowing 5 goals on 23 shots.  Outside the crease, Nicklas Backstrom, Eric Fehr, and John Erskine are all questionable with various injuries that have kept them out of the last five, one, and two games respectively.  As there was no practice yesterday, no updates on these players other than what was said after the Detroit game is available.  Tom Poti is considered doubtful with his wonky groin, and Jason Arnott and Mike Green are out, as they are in DC.

Puck drops on this huge game for both teams 7:08-ish.  Be sure to follow me on Twitter for your morning skate updates, as I am travelling tomorrow and will not be able to write a post.  And, finally, check out last night's Around the NHL update for your scoreboard-watching.

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