Thursday, March 19, 2009

Caps @ Ning 3-19-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (44-28; 94 points; 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 5th Overall) @ Tampa Bay Lightning (23-47; 61 points; 5th Southeast Division, 14th Eastern Conference, 29th Overall):
Caps Game #73, Road Game #36, NHL Game #1,057

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

Tonight the Caps continue their swing through the Southeast Division when they travel to Tampa to face the Ning. The Ning are playing their second game of a four game homestand and are coming off of Tueday night's 4-3 gimmick loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Ning have only won 3 of their last 8 games but have picked up Bettman points in three of those five losses.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times.

Neutral Views: AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

St. Petersburg Times: more injuries, Game Preview. Tampa Tribune.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Well folks, when it comes to NHL opponents it doesn't get much worse than this. The Ning are as out of it as the Thrashers are but Ning aren't riding a five game winning streak. The Ning's defense and goaltending, which was suspect before the season even started, is significantly worse than Atlanta's. The Ning's offense however is much, much more dangerous than Florida's was so the Caps aren't going to get away with allowing zero shots in a period tonight. But let's face facts, a superior effort won't be required to win this game tonight. What concerns us the most though is that the Caps have won eight straight against the Ning and that streak will eventually come to an end. There's no real reason why tonight shouldn't be the ninth, but with this team's finishing kick this season, you never know what you're going to see. CW says that Simeon Varlamov will get his third career start tonight and he'll have his work cut out for him facing Vincent Lecavlier, Martin St. Louis, and Steve Stamkos. That alone could turn this game into a high scoring affair.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 6
Ning 3
Winner by Semin

(8-9 on the season)



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