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, April 29, 2011

Gameday: vs. Tampa Bay, Apr. 29 - Round Two, Game One

Michal Neuvirth has been as solid as they come so far.
The Washington Capitals will welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning to Verizon Center this evening as they open their second round playoff series with the Bolts.  The Capitals won their last series over the Rangers four games to one; while the Lightning came back from a 3-1 series deficit to knock off the Penguins in the first round.  The Capitals won their season series with the Bolts with a 4-1-1 mark, but Tampa was able to frustrate them continuously, and were missing some key players during those games.  Tonight is obviously a huge game as the Caps try and hold serve on home ice.

Tampa Bay bench boss Guy Boucher will start Dwayne Roloson in nets for his team.  The ageless stopper has had a ridiculous postseason so far, leading the NHL in save percentage with a .949 mark and ranking second in GAA at 1.77. The Lightning have relied on Roloson since they acquired him, and tonight will be no different; the Caps need to get in his head early.  On the injury front, the Bolts are not expected to be missing any key cogs with ailments.  Healthy scratches will be determined after their morning skate.

For the Caps, Michal Neuvirth is expected to get the call in goal for the sixth game in a row.  Neuvirth was a rock in the first round; he comes into tonight's game leading the NHL is postseason GAA with a 1.38 mark, and has posted a .946 save percentage so far, which is second behind Roloson.  Neuvirth will need to be at his best tonight, as Tampa's attack is far more imposing than that Rangers'.  Outside the crease, Mike Knuble, Dennis Wideman, and Tom Poti are all but certain to miss the game with their various injuries.  The healthy scratches are expected to be DJ King, Jay Beagle, Tyler Sloan, Sean Collins, and all of the "black aces" that were brought up from Hershey earlier this week.

Puck drops for this one 7:08-ish.  Check back for updates from both morning skates later in the day.

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