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, November 8, 2011

Gameday: vs. Dallas, Nov. 8

Nicklas Backstrom has been great so far this year.
The Washington Capitals will welcome the Dallas Stars to Verizon Center Tuesday night as they attempt to rebound from their disappointing loss to the Islanders on Saturday night. The Caps come into tonight's game with a 9-3-0 record for 18 standings points, which leads the Southeast Division and is third in the Eastern Conference.  Washington does hold games in hand on both teams above them in the standings, Toronto and Pittsburgh, however.  Dallas, predicted by many to be a borderline playoff club, have started the season tremendously, with a 10-3-0 record for 20 points, coming off a 5-2 spanking of the Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon.  Those 20 points lead the Pacific Division and the Western Conference, and are second only to Pittsburgh's 21 in the entire NHL.  This is the one and only meeting between these two teams this season.

Dallas bench boss Glen Gulutzan is likely to go with his starter, Kari Lehtonen, in goal for the fifth consecutive game.  Lehtonen made 30 saves in that 5-2 win over the Hurricanes during his last outing and has been excellent all year, posting a 10-1-0 record to go along with a 2.14 GAA and .936 save percentage.  The Stars are likely to be without enforcer and also good hockey player Steve Ott for tonight's game, as he has a hip injury that has forced him to miss Dallas' last two contests.  Other than that, the Stars are fully healthy and wield a dangerous offensive lineup.

Michal Neuvirth seems the favorite to start tonight's contest following Tomas Vokoun's awful game against the Islanders on Saturday.  Neuvirth played well on Friday of last week during his first game in almost a month, stopping 24 of the 25 shots he saw in a 5-1 drubbing of Carolina.  On the year, the sophomore Czech goaltender is 2-1-0 with a 2.96 GAA and .902 save percentage.  Mike Green is not going to play with his right ankle injury; the defenseman has missed the last five games and John Erskine will remain in the lineup in his stead.  Mathieu Perreault will be the healthy scratch after playing (rather poorly) in Saturday on Long Island.  DJ King will also be a healthy scratch.  Whoops, he's in Hershey.

Puck drops 7:08-ish.  Check back later.

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