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, October 18, 2011

Gameday: vs. Florida, Oct. 18

Winning ugly?  Meh, it's early.  I'll take it.
The Washington Capitals will look to continue their perfect start on Tuesday night when they welcome the Southeast Division rival Florida Panthers to the Verizon Center Ice. Washington comes into tonight's game with four wins in four games, which gives them eight standings points coming off of their 2-1 win over the Senators Saturday night.  Those eight points place them first in both the Southeast Division and the Eastern Conference.  Florida, on the other hand, has six points in their eight games, compiling a 3-1-0 record; the Panthers smoked the Lightning last night 7-4.  Those six points place Florida second in the Division and seventh in the Conference. This is the first of six meetings between the two teams this season.

Brand new Florida coach Kevin Dineen is likely to start his backup goaltender, top prospect Jacob Markstrom, in goal tonight because starter Jose Theodore played last night in Tampa Bay.  Markstrom has yet to play in a game this year, and only has one appearance in his NHL career, in which he allowed three goals on 21 shots in two periods of action.  Nevertheless, Markstrom is one of the most highly regarded young goaltenders in hockey and is expected to be all that and a bag of chips, so the Caps will not be getting off easy if they do in fact face the young Swede.  The Panthers are missing center Mike Santorelli due to a shoulder injury, but otherwise should have everyone healthy for tonight's game.

For Washington, Bruce Boudreau will likely give the nod in goal to Tomas Vokoun, who has started the Caps' last three games and won them all while posting a 2.57 GAA and .922 save percentage.  He is likely to be backed up by either Dany Sabourin or Braden Holtby, as Michal Neuvirth is still "very sore" because of a bruised right foot.  On the injury front, Tom Poti (groin) and John Erskine (shoulder) are both out with long term injuries, while Jay Beagle hasn't practiced since his fight with Arron Asham because of facial injuries and is very questionable at best.  DJ King is likely to be the healthy scratch, with Mathieu Perreault returning to the fourth line in his stead.

Puck drops for this one 7:08-ish.

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