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!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gameday: vs. NY Islanders, Jan. 17

Two critical points await Alex Semin and the Caps tonight.
The Washington Capitals will welcome the New York Islanders to Verizon Center on Tuesday night as they look to close out a successful homestand with another victory.  The Capitals enter tonight's action with a 7-3-0 record in their last ten games and a 24-17-2 mark overall, good enough for 50 standings points in 43 games.  Those 50 points place them second in the Southeast Division, one point behind the Panthers with a game in hand, and seventh overall in the Eastern Conference.  New York, on the other hand, lost to the Predators 3-1 yesterday, are 5-5 over their last ten games, and 16-21-6 overall for 38 standings points in 43 games.  Those 38 points place them last in the Atlantic Division and fourteenth overall in the Eastern Conference.  This is the second of four meetings against the Isles this year; the Caps lost the first inside Nassau Coliseum 5-3 in early November.

Evgeni Nabokov will start for coach Jack Capuano after he yielded yesterday afternoon's start to Kevin Poulin.  Nabokov, who had started every game for the Islanders for three weeks prior to his respite yesterday, is 7-11 on the year with a 2.64 GAA, .909 save percentage, and no shutouts; he has nonetheless dominated the Capitals in his career to the tune of a 2.18 GAA and .929 save percentage.  New York also has two minor injuries: center Marty Reasoner (hand) and defenseman Mike Mottau (concussion) are out and will not play.

Tomas Vokoun will get the call in goal from Dale Hunter for the tenth consecutive game; he made 43 saves in a 2-1 win over the Hurricanes on Sunday, his last start.  On the year, the veteran Czech goaltender is 19-10-0 with a 2.52 GAA, .918 save percentage, and two shutouts.  On the injury front, both Mike Green (abdominal surgery) and Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) are on injured reserve and will not play.  Neither has even skated in over ten days.  Hunter also seems likely to keep his lineup together following three consecutive wins, which means that Tomas Kundratek will stay in over Jeff Schultz and John Erskine and Cody Eakin will stay in over Mathieu Perreault.

Puck drops 7:08-ish.  Follow me on Twitter here for game and morning skate updates.

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