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!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gameday: at Tampa Bay, Mar. 7

Michal Neuvirth is expected to start again for Washington.
The Washington Capitals are in Tampa Bay, Florida, this evening to take on the Lightning in a battle for Southeast Division supremacy as they look to build on their current four-game winning streak.  With their win over the Panthers last night, the Capitals moved into first place in the Southeast Division for the first time in over two months, and as a result of that lead, are placed third in the Eastern Conference with 82 points in 66 games.  The Lightning, who hold a game in hand on the Capitals, have 81 points on their ledger and stand fifth in the East.  This game will be the last of six between these two teams this regular season; the Capitals have won three times, and the Lightning twice.  In their most recent meeting which came on February 4th, the Capitals rode four point nights from both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom to victory, bringing home a 5-2 decision.

To no one's surprise, Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher will roll with Dwayne Roloson in nets for his club.  Roloson, who the Lightning acquired while the Capitals were winning the Winter Classic, has a respectable 2.67 GAA and .911 Save% on the season, but it is his four shutouts that indicate that he can take over a game when he is on his game; he has two of those shutouts against the Capitals.  In total, he has given up five goals in three games against Washington this year.

Bruce Boudreau is expected to give the reins to Michal Neuvirth again, the young Czech's seventh consecutive start in goal.  Over his last six starts, Neuvirth has a 2.16 GAA and five wins, and has really come on strong for the Capitals during this recent surge.  For the season, he owns a 2.47 GAA, .914 Save%, and three shutouts, and he stopped 38 of 41 in his only start against Tampa Bay this year. Outside the crease, no lineup changes are expected from the Capitals.  That means that Jeff Schultz, who was a surprise healthy scratch last night, should remain as one, and neither DJ King nor Jay Beagle will play.  Mike Green has rejoined the team, but has not skated and still does not have a timetable for return.

Puck drops for this one 7:08-ish, and the game will be televised nationally on Versus.  Buckle up, Caps fans.  For updates from the Mar. 7 morning skate, click here.

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