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!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gameday: at New Jersey, Dec. 23

Zach Parise's Devils have been very hot of late.
The Washington Capitals are in Newark, New Jersey this evening as they try and build on the momentum they picked up with their nice win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. Washington enters tonight's game and even 5-5 in their last ten games while posting a 17-14-1 record overall for 35 standings points.  Those 35 points place them second in the Southeast Division, seven behind the Florida Panthers, and in ninth in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Senators for the final playoff spot.  New Jersey is coming off a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of the Rangers Tuesday but are nonetheless 6-4 in their last ten and 18-14-1 for 37 standings points.  That has them fourth in the highly competitive Atlantic Division but still sixth in the Conference.  This is the second of four meetings between these two teams this season; the Caps won the first leg in October.

Martin Brodeur will get the call in goal from Peter DeBoer despite losing his last start against the Rangers.  The ageless Brodeur, who is probably the greatest goaltender to ever play (though Montreal fans will certainly disagree), has struggled this year to the tune of an 8-9 record, 3.08 GAA, and .885 save percentage.  That said, he is still Marty Brodeur and can turn it on at any time. Outside the crease, the Devils have a few injuries to worry about.  Defensemen Andy Greene will miss the game with a toe injury, while rookie star Adam Larsson will be absent as he returns to Sweden to mourn the loss of his grandmother. Winger David Clarkson (illness) and defenseman Henrik Tallinder (back) are both questionable.

Dale Hunter will give the call in goal to Michal Neuvirth for the fourth consecutive game.  After the starting out the season on a disastrous note, Neuvirth has played well of late, allowing four goals combined over his last three starts, winning two of them.  On the year, he is 5-6-1 with a 3.09 GAA, .893 save percentage, and one shutout.  He has also owned the Devils in his career, going 4-0-1 in five starts with a 1.18 GAA, .960 save percentage, and one shutout.  On the injury front, the Caps will be without Mike Green (groin) and Jay Beagle (concussion). Jeff Schultz seems likely to return to the press box after a one game experiment back in the lineup; John Erskine would return in his place.

Puck drops 7:10-ish.  Check back later.

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