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 13, 2011

Gameday: at Pittsburgh, Oct. 13

Tom Vokoun needs to be much better this time around.
The Washington Capitals are in Pittsburgh this evening to take on the Penguins in the biggest game of their young season. Washington comes into Thursday's action with four points in two games, which places them first in the Southeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference coming off of their 6-5 win Monday night over the Lightning.  The Penguins, on the other hand, have started the season on an equally high note, coming into tonight's game with seven points in four games, which places them first in both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference.  Pittsburgh has yet to lose in regulation this year despite the fact that Sidney Crosby has not yet played in a game this season.  This will be the first of four regular season meetings between these two teams this season.

Penguins bench boss Dan Bylsma will go with Marc-Andre Fleury in goal for the second consecutive game.  Fleury is 3-0-0 in three starts this season, during which he has complied a 2.60 GAA and .911 save percentage.  Pittsburgh is still without Sidney Crosby due to his concussion, as I mentioned above, while star center Evgeni Malkin has missed the last two games with a lower-body injury; the Russian sniper is not expected to be ready for tonight.  Other than those very significant injuries, Pittsburgh has a clean bill of health across the board.

Tomas Vokoun is expected to get the nod in nets from coach Bruce Boudreau for the second straight game, partially because of Michal Neuvirth's lower-body injury. Vokoun is 1-0-0 this year in his one start, in which he allowed five goals on 28 shots.  On the injury front, both Tom Poti and John Erskine are still out with groin and shoulder injuries, respectively, and are not expected to play.  DJ King will be a healthy scratch for Washington, well the second will likely be either Jay Beagle or Mathieu Perreault.

That's all for now.  Puck drops for this one 7:07-ish.

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