Thursday, March 27, 2008

Caps @ Ning 3-27-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (38-39; 84 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 9th Eastern Conference, 18th Overall) @ Tampa Bay Lightning (30-46; 68 points; 5th Southeast Division, 15th Eastern Conference, 29th Overall):
Caps Game #78, Road Game #40, NHL Game #1,158

St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL. 7:38 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Tampa TV: Sunshine Network Alternate. Radio: WDAE 620-AM. NHL Center Ice: Sunshine Network Alternate feed.

Tonight the Caps look to climb back to a real .500 record when they play the Ning for the seventh time this season. The Caps have won the last three games in the season series to take a 4-2 lead. Left for dead after the trading deadline, the Ning have remained worthy opponents by continuing to play hard. The results however have not come around as the Ning have just 5 wins in the 14 games since the deadline. Four of those wins have come in the last seven games including Tuesday night's 3-1 win at home over the Florida Panthers that ended a three game losing streak.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

St. Petersburg Times: MVP case, offseason job, tonight's game. Tampa Tribune.

What Do I Expect Tonight:

It probably isn't the best idea in the world for the Caps to be heading into consecutive games in Florida with their playoff hopes dimming by the day. But that's exactly what will happen tonight and Saturday as the Caps have to find a way to keep the sun and sand out of their legs and come away with all four available points. The Caps pulled off a split the last time they played two consecutive games in the state which is better than last year when they found themselves getting swept all three times. The Caps of course have to win to keep their playoff hopes alive and the Ning have nothing to play for other than lottery position. On paper this should be an relatively easy win but we also thought that about last Friday's game and we needed a four goal third period to pull out that win. A big key for the Caps tonight is to get the first goal as the Ning have allowed the first goal in three of their last four losses.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 4
Ning 2
Winner by Kozlov

(40-36 on the season)

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