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 12, 2011

Gameday: vs. Philadelphia, Dec. 13

Go go gadget...power play!
The Washington Capitals will welcome the Philadelphia Flyers to Verizon Center tonight as they look to continue their recent run of modest success.  The Caps, winners of two in a row and three of their last four, enter tonight's action with a 15-12-1 record in 28 games for 31 standings points.  Those 31 standings points place Washington six points adrift of the first-place Panthers in the Southeast Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference.  The Flyers, on the other hand, are hot, winners of seven of their last ten.  Their 18-7-3 record gives them 39 standings points in 18 games and they lead the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference with that point total.  This is the second of four meetings between these two clubs this year; the Caps won the first leg 5-2 in late October.

Huge offseason free-agent prize Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to start for Peter Laviolette's Flyers.  Despite the fact that he has been winning games to the tune of a 13-5-2 record, Bryz has not had a stellar season otherwise, with a 2.83 GAA and .897 save percentage so far.  He gave up five goals the last time these two teams met.  Elsewhere, the Flyers will be without three of their top players for this game.  Their leading scorer Claude Giroux, up and coming center Brayden Schenn, and star defenseman and captain Chris Pronger will be absent with concussion symptoms, though Pronger is also sidelined with a knee injury. Tough break for the Flyers to be without some of their best players; the Caps must take advantage.

Dale Hunter will give the call to Tomas Vokoun in goal for the third consecutive game.  Vokoun has won his last two starts, and on the year is 12-7-0 with a 2.70 GAA, .910 save percentage, and one shutout.  He was brilliant the first time he faced the Flyers, stopping 40 of 42 in that 5-2 win in October.  On the injury front, the Caps will be without Mike Green (groin), who is on injured reserve and travelled to see a groin specialist in Vancouver over the weekend.  He has not skated in four days.  Jay Beagle is also out with a concussion, while Matt Hendricks will miss another game with a knee injury.  Jeff Schultz will be the healthy scratch among the defensemen for the second game in a row.

Puck drops for this one 7:09-ish.  Check back later.

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