Sunday, March 16, 2008

Caps vs. Bruins 3-16-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (34-38; 76 points; 3rd Southeast Division, 11th Eastern Conference, 21st Overall) vs. Boston Bruins (37-35; 82 points; 3rd Northeast Division, 7th Eastern Conference, 12th Overall):
Caps Game #73, Home Game #38, NHL Game #1,087

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 3:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Boston TV: NESN. Radio: WWBZ 1030-AM. NHL Center Ice: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic feed.

Today the Caps close out the Non-Divisional portion of their Eastern Conference schedule when they host the Bruins for the final time this season. The Bruins have won two of the three previous meetings and both games in Boston while the Caps have held serve on their home ice. The Caps are looking to avenge last Saturday's fiasco where they yielded two 5-on-3 goals in the finals minutes of the third period to fall 2-1. That was one of two wins Boston has had in their last eight games. The second win came yesterday when they beat the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime, 3-2, at home and snapped a 3 game losing streak.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times.

Neutral Views: AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Boston Globe: OT specialist, big save, on the comeback trail, Caps thumbnails. Boston Herald: OT win, tested veteran, hard luck, fine ending, fighting problems.

What Do I Expect Today?:

Today we have two teams who have been struggling with the "playoff intensity" of the games as we head into the playoffs. The biggest difference is that the Bruins hold a playoff spot while the Caps don't. It also means at this point in time, the Bruins are much more likely to make the playoffs than the Caps. I can't imagine that any of the hard feelings created by March 3rd's 10-2 whopping have subsided after the 2-1 collapse last Saturday. So there should be some more fireworks today but let's hope we get through the first minute of play before racking up a combined 20 minutes in penalties. As a matter of fact, I would be perfectly fine with no fireworks at all as the Caps have struggled with the Penalty Killing recently and all season long we've failed to control ourselves and have lost more than one game due to a lack of discipline. Boston on the other hand is going to be missing Zdeno Chara again today so it is incumbent upon the Caps (and A.O. specifically) to take advantage of him not being in the lineup. Boston is still giving up a lot of odd man rushes and the Caps will need to capitalize on those too in order to come away with a win. The Caps have had an extra day of rest so they should be ready to go from the start today.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 4
Bruins 2
Winner by Laich

(37-34 on the season)



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