Friday, February 29, 2008

Caps @ Devils 2-29-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (29-35; 66 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 11th Eastern Conference, 23rd Overall) @ New Jersey Devils (37-27; 80 points; 1st Atlantic Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 3rd Overall):
Caps Game #65, Road Game #33, NHL Game #971

Prudential Center, Newark, NJ, 7:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. New Jersey TV: Fox SportsNet New York. Radio: WFAN 660-AM. NHL Center Ice: Fox SportsNet New York feed.

Tonight the beefed up Caps head up to New Jersey to close out the season series with the Devils. The Caps are looking to forge a split in the season series with their first win in the Prudential Center. The Devils of course won this past Sunday with Martin Brodeur turning almost everything away the Caps threw at him in a 2-1 win in overtime. Like the Caps, the Devils have played just once since Sunday's game and lost 2-1 in overtime in Raleigh to the Carolina Hurricanes.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times: debut night, deadline danger. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

New York Post. The Record new Devil, up next.

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

Well, the Cristobal Huet era is off to a rocky start because Brent Johnson has chosen not to travel with the team and there's no good way to spin this decision. Johnson's frustration is certainly understandable but ostracizing yourself from the team will not help matters for yourself or the team. There is also the issue of chemistry as to exactly how Sergei Fedorov fits in with Alexander Semin for now. Remember that it took a couple of months for A.O. and Nicklas Backstrom to mesh and last year's deadline acquisition, Jiri Novotny, never seemed to fit in during his 18 games with the Caps. So tonight could be very, very awkward for the Caps against a team that they cannot afford to be awkward against. Of course, the flip side is that Huet stands on his head, Federov and Matt Cooke play like they've been here for the past ten years and the Caps roll over the Devils who are only looking to work in a new defenseman acquired at the deadline. The Caps will need to play like they did on Sunday in order to have chance tonight because the Devils are on a roll right now by not having been defeated in regulation for their last nine games. The Canes loss to the Rangers in regulation last night also means that the Caps are now five points back of the Canes with three games in hand so a win night would be huge.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 1
Devils 2
Winner by Gionta

(34-29 on the season)

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