Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Caps vs. Hurricanes 4-1-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (40-39; 88 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 9th Eastern Conference, 16th Overall) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (42-37; 90 points; 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 14th Overall):
Caps Game #80, Home Game #39, NHL Game #1,189

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 7:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Carolina TV: Fox SportsNet South. Radio: WCNC: 99.9-FM. NHL Center Ice: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic feed.

Tonight, with the Southeast Division Title on the line, the Caps face the Carolina Hurricanes for the final time this season. The Canes have 4-3 lead in the season series so the best the Caps can do is forge a tie. The Canes have lost two of their last three games, including last week's 3-2 gimmick loss to the Caps. However, their biggest loss came in their last game in Tampa on Saturday night when they lost to the Ning 2-1 to set up tonight's Showdown for the Southeast Division Title.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Raleigh News & Observer: returning players, Eye on the Canes.

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

We've already been through tonight's scenarios and there's no point in continuing to reiterate what a big game tonight's game is. What tonight will show is just how much this team has matured in the last seven weeks. It was a little over seven weeks ago that the Caps played Carolina in the Phone Booth with a chance to seize control of the Southeast Division and the Canes gave the Caps a rude taste of what playoff hockey is really like. The Caps are starting to show that they can handle it but tonight is going to be a different kind of playoff pressure; the "Do or Die" kind. You wanted playoff games in April, well you've got it because if both teams play with the same level of intensity tonight, it will come down to breaks and bounces on the brand spanking new Phone Booth ice sheet.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 3
Canes 2
Winner by Federov

(42-36 on the season)

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