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!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gameday: at Boston, Mar. 29

Five games to go.
The Washington Capitals are in Boston, Massachusetts, this evening to take on the Stanley Cup Champion Bruins as they look to rebound from yet another embarrassing loss on Tuesday at the hands of the Sabres.  The Caps are 5-3-2 in their last ten games and 38-31-8 overall for 84 standings points in 77 games.  That places them second in the Southeast Division, five points behind the Panthers with one more game played, and ninth overall in the Eastern Conference, two points back of idle Buffalo for the final playoff spot.  The Bruins, winners of three in a row for the first time since January, are 5-5 in their last ten games and 45-28-3 overall for 93 standings points in 76 games.  They therefore lead the Atlantic Division and are second overall in the East.  This is the fourth and final meeting between these two clubs this season; Washington somehow leads the season series 2-1.

Tim Thomas will start in goal for Claude Julien's men after beating the Lightning on Tuesday night.  Thomas, the reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy holder, has struggled a bit this year by his standards after his ridiculous campaign last year, but has still been very solid, with a 33-19-0 record, 2.39 GAA, .920 save percentage, and five shutouts.  Outside the crease, the Bruins have two concussions: winger Nathan Horton, who has missed the last two months with his injury, and star center Marc Savard, who has missed the last two years with his.  After struggling with many day to day injuries for the last month, the Bruins are finally rid of those and will field a strong, healthy lineup for this game.

Dale Hunter's choice in nets for this critical game is will be Tomas Vokoun, who has been limited to three games in the last three weeks because of a groin injury. Vokoun is 25-17-2 on the year with a 2.53 GAA, .917 save percentage, and four shutouts.  On the injury front, star center Nicklas Backstrom, who seems to be just days away from returning, is with the team on the trip but will not play.  Joel Ward, who has been out a week with a foot injury, will remain out, while John Erskine has a lower body ailment and will not dress.  Recent recall Cody Eakin will play in Ward's spot, meaning that the Caps will go with six defensemen for the first time in three games; Jeff Schultz will sit down among defensemen along with Erskine.

Puck drops 7:09-ish.  As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.

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