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!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gameday: vs. Detroit, Oct. 22

Talk about a measuring stick game.
The Washington Capitals will welcome the Detroit Red Wings to Verizon Center tonight for one of the biggest games of their young season so far as the NHL's Conference leaders face off. The Capitals come into tonight's game unbeaten in six games with a 6-0-0 record, which gives them 12 standings points coming off their drubbing of Philadelphia on Thursday night.  Those 12 points pace the Southeast Division and the Eastern Conference.  Detroit also comes into tonight's meeting unbeaten, and their 5-0 record represents the Wings' best start in 39 years.  Their 10 standings points place them first in both the Central Division and the Western Conference following their 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets last night. This is the first of two meetings between these two teams this season.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock will roll with his backup, Ty Conklin, in goal tonight after starter Jimmy Howard played last night in Columbus.  Conklin has only made one start this year, but he was exceptional, making 29 saves in a 3-0 shutout of the Avalanche two weekends ago.  The Red Wings will be missing two defensemen for tonight's game, as Brendan Smith is suspended for a hit he laid in the preseason and Mike Commodore is dealing with a knee injury that his on injured reserve.  Other than those injuries to their depth defensemen, the Wings have a clean bill of health across the board.

Tomas Vokoun will earn the nod in goal for the sixth consecutive contest tonight. Vokoun has been an absolute beast in the last four games following his less than stellar Capitals debut, but nevertheless is 5-0 with a 1.96 GAA, .939 save percentage, and one shutout this year.  He made 40 saves in Thursday night's 5-2 win over the Flyers.  On the injury front, the Caps are expected to be without Jay Beagle (concussion), Tom Poti (groin), and John Erskine (shoulder).  Beagle has not practiced since his fight with Arron Asham last week and is therefore likely not going to return anytime soon.  His continued absence means that Mathieu Perreault will continue to be the Caps' fourth line right winger and DJ King will be the healthy scratch.

Puck drops for this one 7:08-ish.  Check back later.

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