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!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Gameday: at NY Rangers, Feb. 12

It's a big one for the Caps today.
The Washington Capitals are in New York City this afternoon to take on the Rangers as they try and rebound from a disheartening loss to the Jets on Thursday night.  The Capitals are 4-4-3 in their last ten games and 28-21-5 overall for 61 standings points in 54 games.  That places them second in the Southeast Division, two back of the Panthers, and ninth overall in the Eastern Conference.  The Rangers, who smacked the Flyers on Saturday afternoon by a 5-2 score, are 7-2-1 in their last ten and 35-13-5 overall for an an incredible 75 standings points in 53 games.  As a result, they are atop both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference, only one point behind the Red Wings for the best record in the NHL with three games in hand.  This is the third of four meetings between these clubs this season; they have split the series so far with both games coming at Verizon Center.

Henrik Lundqvist, who made 31 saves in that win over the Flyers on Saturday, seems likely to get the call from John Tortorella in goal.  Lunqvist has been the best goalie in the league so far this year, posting a 25-11-4 record, 1.81 GAA, .939 save percentage, and six shutouts on his campaign.  He made 18 saves in a 6-3 win for his team the only other time he has faced the Caps this year.  Outside the crease, the Rangers are only missing two minor players for today's game, as winger Ruslan Fedotenko (undisclosed) and defenseman Michael Sauer (concussion) will both be absent.

Tomas Vokoun should start for Dale Hunter after allowing 2 goals on 27 shots in his last outing against the Jets.  Vokoun is 22-13-2 on the year with a 2.40 GAA, .920 save percentage, and four shutouts on the year, and has been a backbone for the Capitals over the last seven weeks.  On the injury front, both Mike Green (sports hernia surgery) and Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) are out and will not play.  After being scratched for Thursday's loss, forward Mike Knuble seems likely to remain in the press box, as he has apparently fallen out of favor with Hunter.  John Erskine, absent for well over a week as a healthy scratch, will probably remain so this evening.

Puck drops 12:38-ish.  Check back later.

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