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, March 1, 2011

Gameday: vs. NY Islanders, Mar. 1

Nick Backstrom won the Isles' last visit to DC - with his foot.
The Washington Capitals will kick off their March schedule this evening at Verizon Center, welcoming the New York Islanders to Verizon Center for the second leg of their home-and-home set.  The Capitals report for duty tonight with 76 points in 63 games, which places them second in the Southeast Divison, five points back of the Lightning, and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, three points clear of the Canadiens.  The Islanders, on the other hand, have 54 points in 63 games, which puts them in last place in the Atlantic Division and 14th overall in the Easter Conference.  Despite this, however, the Isles have been playing much better of late, including their game with the Caps on Saturday. Washington leads the season series 3-0; all three games have been one-goal, hard-fought affairs.

Islanders interim coach Jack Capuano is expected to roll with goaltender Al Montoya for the fifth consecutive game tonight.  Montoya, who has played very well for the Islanders, made 19 stops on 22 shots in his last outing against the Capitals, and really only had a chance on one goal that he allowed.  He has compiled a 2.07 GAA, a .926 Save%, and one shutout since being traded to the Islanders midway through last month, and certainly has the potential to frustrate the Capitals.

Michal Neuvirth is expected to get the tap on the pads from head coach Bruce Boudreau for tonight's contest, his fourth consecutive start in the Washington blue paint.  After his horrid outing Friday night against the Rangers, Neuvy was forced back into action Saturday after Semyon Varlamov was injured, as was very good over the course of that 3-2 victory over the Isles, making 29 saves. Outside of the crease, all three of the Capitals' new shiny new acquisitions: Marco Sturm, Dennis Wideman, and Jason Arnott, are expected to make their debuts in red tonight.  That means that Tyler Sloan will be a scratch of the back end, but it remains to be seen who will sit in order to make room for Arnott (Sturm's place is cleared by the Caps trading Dave Steckel).

For more information and analysis on everything that happened in the world of Capitals hockey yesterday, including both trades, click here.
For the updates from today's morning skate, click here.

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