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!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gameday: at Edmonton, Oct. 27

The Caps won 5-0 the last time these two teams met.
The Washington Capitals are in Edmonton, Alberta, this evening to take on the Oilers as they play their first of two games in western Canada this week.  The Capitals come into tonight's game with an unbeaten record of 7-0-0, which gives them 14 standings points. Those 14 points pace the Southeast Division and place them in second behind Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference following their 7-1 smashing of the Red Wings last Saturday night.  The Oilers, a year after being the NHL's worst team, come into tonight's contest with a 4-2-2 record, which gives them ten standings points.  Edmonton won their last contest over the Canucks 3-2, and are second in the Northwest Divison and sixth in the West with their ten points.  This is the one and only meeting between these two teams this season.

Veteran Nikolai Khabibulin is likely to get the tap on the pads from coach Tom Renney, as he has played well so far this year following a disastrous 2010-11 campaign.  The Bulin wall has started five games this year and is 3-0-2 with a ridiculous 0.97 GAA and .963 save percentage to go along with one shutout; he made 35 saves in Edmonton's 3-2 win over Vancouver on Tuesday.  Ryan Whitney (knee), Ales Hemsky (shoulder) and Darcy Hordichuk (knee) are all out for the Oil long term and will not play.  Up front, Edmonton boasts one of the best young lines in hockey, as Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have between them over half of the total points accumulated on the Oilers' roster. Gee, I wonder who that third line will play against...

Bruce Boudreau will go with Tomas Vokoun in nets, the goaltender's seventh consecutive start in the Washington blue paint.  Last week's NHL Third Star of the Week is 6-0 on the year with a 1.80 GAA, .944 save percentage, and one shutout; he made 32 saves in his last game, Saturday's 7-1 win over the Red Wings.  On the injury front, Jay Beagle and John Erskine are both still out with upper body and shoulder injuries, respectively, and did not make the trip.  Mike Green is questionable at best with a twisted right ankle that he suffered Saturday night; Sean Collins will take his spot in the lineup if he is unable to go.  DJ King will once more be the healthy scratch.

Puck drops for this one 9:38-ish inside Rexall Place.  Check back later.

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