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!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gameday: vs. Pittsburgh, Dec. 1

Here comes super Sid...with no Mike Green.
The Washington Capitals will welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to Verizon Center tonight as they attempt to shake off their disastrous November and earn their first win under new head coach Dale Hunter.  The Capitals, losers of three in a row and seven of their last nine, enter tonight's game 12-10-1 for 25 standings points.  Those 25 points place them second in the Southeast Division, five points behind Florida with a game in hand, but tenth in the Eastern Conference, one point out of a playoff spot.  The Penguins, on the other hand, despite struggling a bit recently, are still flying high atop the NHL, Eastern Conference, and Atlantic Division standings.  Their record is 14-7-4, which equates to 32 standings points, and they're very good.  This is the second of four regular season meetings between these two teams this season; the Capitals won the first leg, 3-2, in overtime in mid October.

Disco Dan Bylsma will call on Marc-Andre Fleury to mind the cage for tonight's game.  Flower has been outstanding this year, posting a 13-4-2 record, 2.17 GAA, .922 save percentage, and two shutouts to help fuel Pittsburgh's dominant start.  He made 26 saves on 30 shots in his last outing, a 4-3 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday night.  For the first time in awhile, the Penguins will be almost at full strength for tonight's game, with Sidney Crosby back in the lineup and producing points at an insane clip: two goals and nine assists in five games.  Norris Trophy frontrunner Kris Letang, however, will miss tonight's game with facial injuries that he suffered last Saturday during a win in Montreal.  Fellow blueliner Zbynek Michalek also will not play with an undisclosed injury; he missed that game Tuesday night in New York as well.

Tomas Vokoun seems likely to get the call in goal from Dale Hunter following his solid, if unspectacular, performance on Tuesday that saw him make 28 saves in a 2-1 losing effort.  On the year, Vokoun is 10-5-0 with a 2.77 GAA, .906 save percentage, and one shutout.  On the injury front, the Capitals will be without both Mike Green, who has missed over two weeks with another groin injury, and Jay Beagle, who has missed almost two full months with a concussion.  With no day-to-day injuries, the decision on who to scratch was probably more difficult than usual, but Mathieu Perreault will remain in the press box for tonight's game, as he was against the Blues.  It seems likely that Jeff Schultz will return to the lineup in the place of Dmitri Orlov, who would experience his first pro healthy scratch tonight if that were indeed the case.

Puck drops for this one 7:08-ish.  Check back later.

No comments:

Post a Comment