Thursday, February 11, 2010

Caps @ Canadiens 2-10-2010 Wrap Up/Caps @ Senators 2-11-2010 Preview

The Local Yokels:


The Neutral Observers:

NHL.comAP Wire.

The Other Side:

The Gazette: stunner, no doubts.

Final Thoughts:

60 down, 22 to go.

Washington Capitals (41-19; 89 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 1st Overall) @ Ottawa Senators (34-26; 72 points; 1st Northeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 10th Overall):
Caps Game #61, Road Game #32, NHL Game #891

Caps "Magic Numbers" (Caps Points Earned+Lost by team named) to clinch:
Playoff Spot: 18 Atlanta

Southeast Division Championship: 22 Tampa Bay
Eastern Conference #1 Seed: 32 New Jersey
President's Trophy: 42 San Jose (Edmonton has been eliminated)

Scotiabank Place, Kanata, Ontario, Canada, 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM.  Ottawa TV: None. Radio: CFGO 1200-AM.  Canadian National TV: TSN.  NHL Center Ice: Comcast SportNet Mid-Atlantic and TSN feeds.

Tonight the Caps look to start another winning streak when they head into Ottawa to face the Senators for the third time this season.  The teams have split the previous two meetings so far this season with the home team winning both times.  The last time these two teams met, the Caps gave the Senators their second loss in a five game losing streak 5-2 in D.C.  The Senators turned it back around and went on a eleven game winning streak that was snapped on Saturday night in Toronto, 5-0.  The Senators got back to their winning ways with a 3-2 victory at home over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night in their last outing.  The Senators have won their last six games on home ice.

What The Natives Are Saying:

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Ottawa Citizen.  Ottawa Sun: the bestout in frontGame Preview.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Well folks, we thought that tonight was going to be the night that ended the Caps streak but it wasn't meant to be.  In spite of both team's lengthy streaks being stopped, you still have two teams that have been playing pretty good hockey as of late and getting it done with contrasting styles of play.  The Caps 14 game winning streak built largely on an offensive outburst.  Sure, the Caps gave up an average of 2.36 goals in the 14 games that they won, but they scored an average of 4.86 goals per game.  Outscore your opponents 5-2 and you'll win a lot of hockey games.  However, the Senators put their eleven game winning streak together with defense and goaltending.  They allowed 1.18 goals against with two shutouts in the streak (the Caps had none in theirs and the last shutout the Caps threw was December 7th in Tampa ) and scored 3.36 goals per game, scoring five or more goals just once (the Caps scored five or more goals 8 times, 9 if you count the gimmick win that started it all).  Behind it all for Ottawa is goaltender Brian Elliot who is expected to make his 12th straight start tonight.  He backstopped to the Senators 4-3 overtime win over the Caps back in November and has a 1.60 GAA and a .948 save percentage in his last 11 starts, going 10-1.  To further add to the Caps troubles tonight is the return of Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza to the Senators lineup.  Both players missed the last meeting in D.C. a month ago but have returned from injury and are playing again.  This is a game tonight that for the Caps to win they'll have to do it in a 2-1, 3-2 fashion.  That means no early goals allowed and few if any defensive breakdowns, something Bruce Boudreau is dying to correct through some additional practice time.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 2
Senators 4
Winner by Fisher
(32-28 on the season with one perfect game) 

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