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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!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gameday: vs. Ottawa, Dec. 3

Can Ovi and the boys finally bounce back?
The Washington Capitals will welcome the Ottawa Senators to Verizon Center this evening as they look to rebound from their 2-1 loss at the hands of the Penguins on Thursday night and get their first win under Dale Hunter.  The Caps, losers of four in a row and eight of their last ten, come into tonight's game 10-9-1, which gives them 25 standings points.  Those 25 standings points place them second in the Southeast Division, five points behind the Florida Panthers, and tenth in the Eastern Conference, one point out of a playoff spot.  The Senators, who got off to a very poor start, have rebounded a bit, and are now 12-11-2 with a .500 record over their last ten games.  They have 26 standings points, which places them fourth in the highly competitive Northeast Division and in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.  This is the second of four meetings between these two teams this season; the Caps won the first leg in mid October.

Senators coach Paul MacLean is expected to go with Craig Anderson in goal. The 30 year old journeyman goalie has had a below average season so far, with an 11-8-1 record, 3.45 GAA, and .893 save percentage to his name.  He made 29 saves on 32 shots in his last start, a 3-1 loss in Dallas on Thursday.  Ottawa is not expected to be significantly hindered by injuries for this contest, with only two regulars currently on the mend.  Puck moving defenseman Filip Kuba was injured earlier this week and missed Thursday night's loss against the Stars, and is questionable for this game.  Tough guy Chris Neil will return to the lineup after missing an extensive period of time with a bum ankle.

Michal Neuvirth will get the call in goal for the first time in eight days and the first time under Dale Hunter.  The sophomore Czech goalie has had a disastrous campaign so far, posting a 2-4-1 record, a 3.81 GAA, .868 save percentage, and zero shutouts.  He allowed six goals on 33 shots in his last start, a loss to the Rangers a week ago Friday.  On the injury front, the Caps will be without Mike Green (groin), Alexander Semin (upper body), and Jay Beagle (concussion), while Roman Hamrlik is questionable with what is being called a lower body injury.  Because Semin is hurt, the Caps have zero healthy scratches from the forward corps.

Puck drops for this one 7:10-ish.

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