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!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gameday: at Florida, Dec. 5

Time to build a little momentum...
The Washington Capitals are in Sunrise, Florida, this evening to take on the first-place Panthers as they look to continue their momentum from Saturday night's shaky but exciting 3-2 overtime win against Ottawa.  The Caps enter tonight's game with a 13-11-1 record, having won their last game, but are still 3-7-0 in their last ten games and have played poorly for more than a month now.  Their record gives them 27 standings points, which places them second in the Southeast Division, five behind Florida, and in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers, who won in San Jose on Saturday night, are 14-8-4 and winners of six of their last ten.  Their 32 standings points slot them first in the Southeast and third in the East by virtue of their status as Division leaders.  This is the second of six meetings between these two clubs this season; the Caps won behind a Tomas Vokoun shutout in the first game in mid October.

Former Capital Jose Theodore will get the call in goal from coach Kevin Dineen after yielding his last start to Scott Clemmensen.  Theo made 24 saves on 26 shots in his last outing, a loss in Los Angeles, and on the year is 10-5-3 with a 2.28 GAA, .924 save percentage, and one shutout.  He did not play during the first game between Florida and the Caps.  Elsewhere, Matt Bradley (upper body), Scottie Upshall (hip), and Mikael Samuelsson (hernia), are all on injured reserve and have not played in over two weeks.  Samuelsson and Bradley, however, are not considered locks to miss the contest and may return to the lineup.  It is not known who would sit should they play.

Dale Hunter seems likely to give the nod to Michal Neuvirth in nets following his nice performance Saturday against the Senators.  Neuvy stopped 32 of 34 in that game for only his third win of the season, and on the year is 3-4-1 with a 3.60 GAA and .878 save percentage.  On the injury front, Mike Green (groin) and Jay Beagle (concussion) are both out and will not play, while Alexander Semin (shoulder) and Roman Hamrlik (lower body) were questionable heading up to the morning skate but will not play because of their ailments.  That means that Dmitry Orlov and Cody Eakin will keep their respective spots in the lineup.

Late start tonight...puck drops for this one 7:37-ish.   Check back later.

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