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, February 7, 2012

Gameday: vs. Florida, Feb. 7

Marcus as the best center dressed by a mile? Uh oh.
The Washington Capitals will welcome the Florida Panthers to Verizon Center this evening as they attempt to gain momentum and begin actually winning games that they need to win.  The Capitals, having lost their last game to the Bruins on Sunday, are 4-4-2 in their last ten and 27-21-4 overall for 58 standings points in 52 games.  Those 58 points place them second in the Southeast Division, one point behind the Panthers with one more game played, and ninth in the Eastern Conference.  The Panthers, who got pasted by the Lightning 6-3 on Saturday night, are 4-3-3 in their last ten and 24-16-11 overall for 59 standings points. Those 59 points place them first in the Southeast Division and therefore third overall in the East.  This is the fourth of six meetings between these two clubs this season; the Caps are 1-2 in the previous 3 games, including a loss last week.

The Capitals are likely to face Scott Clemmensen in goal for the second consecutive matchup, as regular starter Jose Theodore is out with a knee injury. Clemmensen is 8-5-3 on the year with a 2.73 GAA, .912 save percentage, and one shutout.  Outside the crease, the Panthers will be missing several players. Scottie Upshall (hernia), Marco Sturm (knee surgery), Ed Jovanovski (hand), and Dmitry Kulikov (knee) will all be sidelines for this evening's game.  Maybe the Capitals can take advantage of it.

Tomas Vokoun will start in goal for Dale Hunter following a solid performance against the Bruins Sunday, even though he allowed three goals.  Vokoun is 21-13-1 on the year with a 2.54 GAA, .917 save percentage, and three shutouts.  He has only faced his former team once, however, because Dale Hunter has for some reason seen fit to give Michal Neuvirth the reins the last two times these teams have met despite the fact that Vokoun shut the Cats out the first time he played them.  On the injury front, Mike Green (sports hernia surgery) and Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) are on IR and will not play.  Forward Brooks Laich, despite being on crutches on Sunday, will play, by some miracle.  Jay Beagle and John Erskine will remain in the press box.

Puck drops 7:09-ish.

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