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, December 20, 2011

Gameday: vs. Nashville, Dec. 20

Panic time...
The Washington Capitals will welcome the Nashville Predators to Verizon Center this evening as they attempt to shake off another disappointing loss and rebound against a tough team.  The Caps enter tonight's game having lost their last game in Colorado and six of their last ten, and have posted a 16-14-1 record overall.  That record gives them 33 standings points, which places them third in the Southeast Division, nine back of the Panthers, and in eleventh in the Eastern Conference.  The Predators, on the other hand, have been hot recently, winning five in a row and seven of their last ten.  On the year, they're 17-11-4 for 38 standings points, which has them fourth in the Central Division and seventh in the Western Conference. This is the second of two meetings between these two clubs this season; the Predators won 3-1 in the first meeting, which took place in mid-November.

Barry Trotz will roll with his backup netminder, Anders Lindback, in goal tonight. Lindback is one of the most capable backups in the league and on the year is 2-2 with a 2.52 GAA and .902 save percentage.  He's no Pekka Rinne, but he's still good.  Outside the crease, the Predators actually have zero injuries to their team. So one of the best and most consistent teams in the NHL is coming in against one of the least consistent and beat up teams in the NHL.  Oh, and then there's Shea Weber. Could be fun, I guess.

Despite allowing a very poor goal that cost the Caps the game on Saturday night, Michal Neuvirth will make his third consecutive start in goal for Dale Hunter. Neuvirth's numbers are very poor this year: 4-6-1 record, 3.27 GAA, and .889 save percentage, but for some reason Hunter will call him him to right the shift. On the injury front, the Caps are sure to be without both Mike Green and Jay Beagle, who have missed extended periods of time with groin and concussion injuries, respectively.  With Cody Eakin now in Hershey, there will be no forward healthy scratch; Dale Hunter has not indicated that Jeff Schultz will be given a jersey after spending the last week in the press box.

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

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