Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Caps @ Panthers 3-16-2010 Preview

Washington Capitals (46-23; 101 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 1st Overall) @ Florida Panthers (28-39; 66 points; 3rd Southeast Division, 12th Eastern Conference, 26th Overall):
Caps Game #70, Road Game #36, NHL Game #1,033

Caps "Magic Numbers" (Caps Points Earned+Lost by team named) to clinch:
Playoff Spot: Clinched 3/11

Southeast Division Championship: Clinched 3/11
Eastern Conference #1 Seed: 12 Pittsburgh and New Jersey (Boston eliminated, 8th of 14)
President's Trophy: 23 San Jose (11 of 29 eliminated)


BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, FL, 7:37 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Florida TV: Fox Sportsnet Florida. Radio: WAXY 790-AM.  NHL Center Ice: Fox Sportsnet Florida and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic feeds.

Tonight the Caps continue their road trip as they seek to break out the brooms against the Florida Panthers.  This will be the sixth and final game against the Panthers this season and so far the Caps have won all of them.  Florida has been hanging on the edges of the Eastern Conference Playoff race and have won four times in six games since the Olympic Break; twice in their last three games beyond regulation time.  In their last outing, the Panthers handed the San Jose Sharks a rare loss on their home ice 3-2 in overtime on Saturday.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)PostExaminerCaps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Miami Herald.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

So for the fourth time in six games this year, the Florida Panthers will avoid facing Captain A.O. in a game this year.  If you're looking for a reaction from us to the suspension the only we'll say is that the suspension and lack of quotes about it from Colin Campbell himself speaks all for itself because there was never a doubt in our minds that a suspension would be forthcoming.  As for the game tonight, the Caps have proven that they don't need Captain A.O. to defeat the Florida Panthers.  The Panthers have a game in hand but are six points behind the Boston Bruins for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.  The Panthers have to get going and get going now if they wish to make up that ground.  After dropping their last four games on home ice as part of a six game losing streak heading into the Olympic Break, Florida has won both of their games at home since the Olympics.  Making this game interesting tonight is Semyon "The Saviour" Varlamov's turn in the goaltender rotation.  The Saviour has lost three of his last four games and two in a row despite showing some improvement in his last outing.  The Caps though simply posses too much firepower compared to the Panthers and with some mildly competent goaltending and a decent effort should have no trouble dispatching the Panthers tonight.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 4
Panthers 1
Winner by Semin
(37-32 on the season with one perfect game)

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