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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!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gameday: at Montreal, Jan. 18

Jay Beagle scores a goal on Carey Price in December 2010. 
The Washington Capitals are in Montreal, Quebec to take on the Canadiens this evening inside the Bell Centre as they look to rebound from a pathetic showing against the Islanders on Tuesday night.  Washington, who had won three in a row prior to Tuesday's egg, are 7-3-0 in their last ten games and 24-18-2 overall for 50 standings points in 44 games.  Those 50 points place them second in the Southeast Division, one point behind the Panthers, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, one point up on the Maple Leafs for the final playoff spot in the Conference.   The Canadiens, who beat the Rangers 4-1 on Sunday night, are 4-5-1 in their last ten games and 17-20-8 overall for 42 standings points in 45 games.  Those totals place them last in the Northeast Division and twelfth overall in the Eastern Conference.  This is the first of four meetings between these two clubs this season.

Carey Price will get the call in goal for Randy Cunneyworth after yielding the Canadiens' last game to Peter Budaj.  Price, who has emerged as one of the League's top goaltenders over the last 18 months, is 15-16-8 on the year with 2.44 GAA, .913 save percentage, and two shutouts, and will surely present a tough task for the Capitals' offense.  Outside of the goal crease, Montreal will be missing two of their best skaters.  Captain Brian Gionta is out after biceps surgery last week, forward Ryan White has a sports hernia, and defenseman Andrei Markov is out following ACL surgery last year and complications this season that have kept him from lacing up for a single game on this campaign. Forward Travis Moen (leg) is questionable.

Michal Neuvirth seems likely to get the call in goal from Dale Hunter in order to give Tomas Vokoun a respite after starting ten consecutive games, including last night against New York.  Neuvirth, who has not started a game since giving up three goals on six shots in Buffalo on Demember 26th, is 5-7-2 on the year with 3.23 GAA, .886 save percentage, and one shutout.  On the injury front, both Mike Green (sports hernia surgery) and center Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) are out and will not play for the Caps this evening.  John Erskine will play over Tomas Kundratek to give Washington a more physical player to help deal with Rene Bourque, who elbowed Backstrom in the head on January 3rd.  Mathieu Perreault will also suit up for the first time in over a week, taking Jay Beagle's place.  Jeff Schultz will remain on the bench.

Puck drops 7:40-ish from La Belle Province.

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