Monday, March 08, 2010

Caps vs. Stars 3-8-2010 Preview

Washington Capitals (44-21; 96 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 1st Overall) vs. Dallas Stars (28-36; 68 points; 4th Pacific Division, 12th Western Conference, 20th Overall):
Caps Game #66, Home Game #32, NHL Game #974

Caps "Magic Numbers" (Caps Points Earned+Lost by team named) to clinch:
Playoff Spot: 5 Tampa Bay (3 of 7 eliminated)

Southeast Division Championship: 6 Atlanta (1 of 4 eliminated)
Eastern Conference #1 Seed: 20 Pittsburgh (3 of 14 eliminated)
President's Trophy: 31 San Jose (5 of 29 eliminated)


Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 7:10 pm. Washington TV: None. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Dallas TV: None. Radio: KTCK 1310-AM.  U.S. National TV: Versus.  Canadian National TV: TSN2, RIS (French). NHL Center Ice: None.

Tonight, the Caps continue their post-Olympic Homestand and settle into their every other night schedule when they host the Dallas Stars for the only meeting between the two teams this season.  In the lone meeting last season, Alexander "Slappy" Semin scored in overtime down in Dallas to secure a 6-5 win.  The Stars are making their first appearance in D.C. since November of 2006 and have not won in D.C. since November of 2002.  Dallas is slowly fading from the Western Conference playoff picture as they currently sit in 12th place and trail the eighth seeded Detroit Red Wings by six points but do have one game in hand.  Dallas is in the middle of a three game road trip and a three game losing streak coming out of the Olympic break.  In their last game on Saturday afternoon, they lost to the Penguin Scum in Pittsburgh by a score of 6-3.


What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)PostExaminerCaps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Dallas Morning News: don't panic, Game Preview.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Dallas has allowed at least five goals in every game since the end of the Olympic Break and could very well be what the Caps need to get their top two lines back on track.  The bad news is that the Caps could find themselves in another up and down 5-4 shootout like they did last Thursday against the Ning.  The Stars are insisting that they don't want to panic just yet but they need to find their desperation mode if they want to get into the playoffs this season so the Caps will at least have to match that.  Another question for tonight is what lineup changes will Bruce Boudreau come up with tonight as his tinkering continues for another ten games or so?  Semyon "The Saviour" Varlamov is up in the goalie rotation tonight and will he finally start returning to his pre-injury form or will he allow another 4-6 goals?  With a win tonight the Caps will officially put away the Florida Panthers getting themselves closer to officially wrapping up another playoff spot and division title.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 7
Stars 2
Winner by Captain A.O.
(35-30 on the season with one perfect game)

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