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, March 13, 2012

Gameday: at NY Islanders, Mar. 13

Ohh! America, are you serious?
The Washington Capitals are in Long Island, New York, this evening to take on the Islanders as they begin a season-long five game road trip.  The Capitals, who have won three in a row, are 6-3-1 in their last ten games and 35-28-6 overall for 76 standings points in 69 games.  That places the Caps second in the Southeast Division, one point behind the Panthers with one more game played, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, four points clear of the Jets for the final playoff spot.  The Islanders lost in overtime their last time out and are 3-5-2 in their last ten games and 28-31-10 overall for 66 standings points in 69 games. They are therefore last in the Atlantic Division and fourteenth in the East.  This is the fourth and final meeting between these two teams this season; the Isles lead the season series 2-1.

Evgeni Nabokov seems likely to get the call in goal from Jack Capuano despite allowing four goals on 36 shots in an overtime loss on Sunday.  Nabokov is 16-17-2 on the year with a 2.53 GAA, .915 save percentage, and two shutouts.  He has dominated the Caps in his career, however, only losing once to them in regulation and stopping over 93 percent of the shots he has seen thrown his way. Outside the crease, the Isles are not missing anyone long term, but defenseman Mark Eaton (back) and forwards Casey Cizikas (flu) and Matt Martin (flu) are all questionable.

After his shutout against the Leafs Sunday, Michal Neuvirth is poised to make his second consecutive start in goal.  Neuvirth is 10-11-4 on the year with a 2.78 GAA, .903 save percentage, and three shutouts.  He beat the Isles the last time he faced them, stopping 22 of 24 shots.  On the injury front, the Caps will be without Nicklas Backstrom, as they have been for the last nine weeks, as the superstar Swede recovers from a concussion.  He's not even in the country at the moment; he's back home visiting family.  In addition, Mike Green will be absent from the lineup as he serves the third and final game of a three-game suspension for his actions in last Thursday's game.  With the Caps "rolling," per se, expect the lineup to remain the same; that means Jeff Halpern and John Erskine will remain healthy scratches.

Puck drops 7:09-ish.  As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.  No recap tonight because of school obligations.

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