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 27, 2012

Gameday: vs. Buffalo, Mar. 27

Biggest regular season tilly at the Booth since 2008 tonight.
The Washington Capitals will welcome the Buffalo Sabres to Verizon Center on Tuesday night as they play their biggest regular season game in four years and close out a three game homestand.  The Capitals, who are 6-2-2 in their last ten games, are 38-30-8 overall for 84 standings points in 76 games.  That places them second in the Southeast Division, three points back of the Panthers with one more game played, and eighth overall in the Eastern Conference, tied with these Sabres on points but ahead of them in the standings because of the regulation and overtime wins tiebreaker.  Buffalo is 7-1-2 in their last ten and 37-29-10 on the year, also good for 84 standings points in 76 games.  They are therefore third in the Northeast Divison and, as you read earlier, in ninth in the East based only on a tiebreaker.  This is the fourth and final meeting between these two clubs this season; the Sabres lead the season series 2-1 and the home team has won all three contests.

Ryan Miller will start in goal for Lindy Ruff, as Buffalo's coach continues to ride his ace goalie down the stretch.  Miller is 29-18-7 on the year with a 2.48 GAA, .917 save percentage, and six shutouts.  He has been an absolute monster over the last two months after struggling during the first half of the season; compiling a 1.90 GAA and .936 save percentage in February and March.  Outside the crease, the Sabres, who are finally almost fully healthy, will be missing center Jochen Hecht because of a concussion, while wingers Patrick Kaleta and Nathan Gerbe (both upper body) are questionable.

Braden Holtby will start this game in goal after his 28-save shutout performance Sunday against the Wild.  Holtby is 2-1-1 on the year with a 2.22 GAA, .927 save percentage, and one shutout; he lost to the Sabres in overtime the only other time he faced them in his career.  On the injury front, the Capitals are still without center Nicklas Backstrom, who is sidelined with a concussion but has been skating for the last two weeks and was recently cleared to practice fully.  Joel Ward, who has missed the last two games with a lower body ailment, is also out and will not play.  Dale Hunter seems like he will go with seven defensemen again, keeping John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov, and Jeff Schultz all in the lineup over John Erskine, who is also nursing a lower body ailment.  With Ward's injury, that means the Caps will only have 11 forwards active.

Puck drops for this one 7:08-ish.  No recap from me tonight because of school obligations.

As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.

No comments:

Post a Comment