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, January 20, 2012

Gameday: at Carolina, Jan. 20

Let's see if we can get this going again...
The Washington Capitals are in Raleigh, North Carolina, this evening to take on the Hurricanes as they look to build on their win over the Canadiens in Montreal on Wednesday night.  The Capitals enter this evening's game with a 7-3-0 record in their last ten games and a 25-18-2 record overall for 52 standings points in 45 games.  That total places them first in the Southeast Division and therefore third in the Eastern Conference, even though several teams with more points are below them in the standings.  Carolina, who has heated up of late, lost their last game in overtime and are 4-4-2 in their last ten and 16-24-8 overall for 40 standings points in 48 games.  They are last in the Southeast Division and the Eastern Conference with those 50 points.  This is the fourth of six meetings between these two clubs this year; Washington has won the first three.

Cam Ward will get the nets from Kirk Muller this evening, his seventh consecutive start in the Hurricanes' goal.  The always-busy goaltender, who has started 41 games this year, tops in the league, is 16-17-7 so far with a 3.01 GAA, .905 save percentage, and one shutout.  Outside the crease, though the Canes recently got Jeff Skinner back, they are still without three regulars: forward Chad LaRose (upper body), defenseman Jaroslav Spacek (upper body), and defenseman Joni Pitkanen (knee).

Tomas Vokoun will make his return to the Capitals' net after sitting the second half of a back to back in Montreal.  Vokoun, who had started ten in a row before that respite, is 19-11-0 on the year with a 2.53 GAA, .917 save percentage, and two shutouts.  On the injury front, Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) and Mike Green (sports hernia surgery) are out and will not play.   After John Erskine played against Montreal and did absolutely nothing except take a terrible penalty that straddled his teammates with six minutes of penalty kill time, Tomas Kundratek will play over Erskine on defense.  Mathieu Perreault will remain in the lineup over Jay Beagle following his goal against the Habs.

Puck drops 7:08-ish.

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