Thursday, April 03, 2008

Caps vs. Ning 4-3-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (41-39; 90 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 9th Eastern Conference, 16th Overall) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (31-49; 71 points; 5th Southeast Division, 15th Eastern Conference, 29th Overall):
Caps Game #81, Home Game #40, NHL Game #1,202

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 7:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Tampa TV: Sunshine Network. Radio: WDAE 620-AM. NHL Center Ice: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic.

Tonight the Caps continue their playoff push when they host the Ning for the final meeting between the two teams this season. The Caps lead the season series 5-2 and are still in dire need of standings points. The Ning have lost two in a row and three of their last four games including last week's 4-3 loss in overtime to the Caps. Last night, the Ning were unable to beat Carolina again and took the brunt of the Canes' frustrations as they fell 6-2 in Raleigh.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post: possible payoff, Shaone Morrrissonnn out. Times: getting there, becoming lucrative. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

St. Petersberg Times: routed, bad situation, heads should roll. Tampa Tribune.

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

What little help we did get last night can't be considered enough to be encouraging as time is simply running out on this season for the Caps to get themselves into the playoffs. The only good news is that the Ning are openly talking about how they're having trouble playing simply for pride. The Caps have a very good chance to keep the pressure on the leaders tonight and could temporarily slip into a playoff position if they can guard against an emotional letdown from Tuesday's game. The trick for the Caps tonight is playing well against a team that has really nothing to play for which I don't think they did last week in Tampa when they needed overtime to finish off the Ning. At this point in the season, any two points we can get are needed and if the team comes out like they did against Carolina, they should have as easy of a win as Carolina did last night.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 3
Ning 2
Winner by Laich

(43-36 on the season)

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