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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!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gameday: at Tampa Bay, Apr. 2

Three games to go.
The Washington Capitals are in Tampa, Florida, this evening to take on the Lightning as they continue to make their push for a playoff spot.  The Capitals, winners of two in a row, are 5-3-2 in their last ten games and 40-31-8 overall for 88 standings points in 79 games.  They are therefore second in the Southeast Division, three points behind the Panthers, and eighth overall in the East, two points up on the Sabres for the final postseason birth in the Conference.  The Lightning, on the other hand, are an even 5-5 in their last ten and 36-35-7 overall for 79 standings points in 78 games.  That places them fourth in the Southeast Division and eleventh overall in the Eastern Conference.  This is the sixth and final regular season meeting between these two clubs this season; the Capitals are 3-1-1 in the first five games.

Dwayne Rolson will get the call in goal from Guy Boucher for this evening's contest despite being lit up for six goals the last time he played in a game. Roloson is 11-16-2 on the year with a 3.76 GAA, .884 save percentage, and one shutout; he lost the last time he faced the Capitals but has been a thorn in their side since he became a member of the Lightning.  Outside the crease, the Lightning will be without defensemen Marc-Andre Bergeron (back) and Mattias Ohlund (knee), while also having center Dana Tyrell out of commission because of an upper body injury.

Michal Neuvirth will start in goal this evening after an exceptional 39-save shootout win against the Canadiens on Saturday night.  Neuvirth is 13-12-5 on the year with a 2.85 GAA, .902 save percentage, and three shutouts this season; he has yet to face the Lightning this season.  On the injury front, defenseman John Erskine is on injured reserve because of a lower body injury and will not play.  Expect Dale Hunter to keep the same lineup that won Saturday's game intact, which means Jeff Schultz the healthy scratch among defensemen and Joel Ward, Jeff Halpern, and Cody Eakin all up in the pressbox among forwards.

Puck drops 7:38-ish.  As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.

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