Monday, November 30, 2009

Caps @ Canes 11-30-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (15-11; 36 points) @ Carolina Hurricanes (5-21; 15 points):
Caps Game #27, Road Game #14, NHL Game #384, A.O. Probation Game #2

RBC Center, Raleigh, NC 7:05 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Carolina TV: Fox Sportsnet Carolina. Radio: WRAL 99.9-FM.  NHL Center Ice: Fox Sportsnet Carolina, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic feeds.

Tonight, the Caps return to play in the Southeast Division when they travel down to Raleigh to face the Carolina Hurricanes for the first time this season.  Last season, the Caps and Canes split the season series with each team claiming a win on the road in the process.  If you think that the Caps have been under siege by injuries, you'll get no sympathy from Carolina fans.  The Canes have been dealing with injuries to key players all season long and it is a major factor in the team being stuck at the bottom of the NHL's overall standings.  Carolina is currently on a four game losing streak, the latest loss coming on Saturday night in Loserville...er...Buffalo where the Canes took a 1-0 lead into the third period only to allow five unanswered goals for a 5-1 loss at the hands of the Buffaslugs.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post.  Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com.  AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Raleigh News & Observer.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, once again the Caps are on the road against the worst team in the NHL.  The last time this happened the Caps let Toronto get away with a 2-1 gimmick win nine days ago.  So have the Caps learned their lesson yet or are they still not taking inferior opponents seriously enough?  The real trouble for the Caps tonight is Carolina's very recent problems in the third period.  They've given up a whopping ten goals in the third period of their last two games and 13 overall on their current four game losing streak.  Now at some point with Carolina, pride will kick in and they'll tighten that up but with the sheer volume of goals that they have been allowing in the third period, the Caps could fritter around for the first two periods, something we've seen a lot of this year, and still win the game with a strong effort in the third.  However, when facing a team with a fragile psyche, it is best to get on them early and often.  All five of Carolina's wins have come on home ice where they are a decent 5-8.  Even though the Caps are tied for 3rd in the NHL for most goals scored in the third period and Carolina has allowed the most goals in the third period, the Caps would still be well served to get off to a strong start tonight.  The earlier the Caps end this game, the better.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 6
Canes 2
Winner by Steckel
(11-15 on the season with one perfect game)

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