Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pre-Game: Capitals @ Stars

The Washington Capitals (3-3-1) try to end a three-game losing streak and salvage their west-coast road trip as they take on the Stars in Dallas. The last time the Caps won in the Lone Star State was 3-2 in OT on December 28, 2001. Since then, the Capitals are 1-5 against Dallas with a -15 goal differential.

The Caps will start (re)emerging star, Jose Theodore in net who has put up a 2.04 GAA on the road trip, while compiling both the loses. Although Jarome Iginla's goal probably should have been stopped, Jose has been spectacular the past few games and was the reason the Caps had a chance to win against Calgary and Phoenix.

On the other hand, the 3-4-1 Dallas Stars will put struggling star, Marty Turco in net tonight. Marty has picked up all seven decisions and has a GAA of over 4 and a save percentage of under .850 (ouch!). But he his facing the Caps, a team that he has never lost to (3-0, 1.21 GAA).

Washington has good news as Victor Kozlov returns to the lineup tonight. Although not 100%, Koz's absence has been felt on the first line as Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin have combined for only six points through the first seven games. John Erskine is also back in the lineup after missing the Coyotes game. He will be paired with Milan Jurcina along the back line (according to Capitals Insider).

The key for the Capitals is again going to be the Power Play. The Caps are 6/36 (16.7% )with the extra man, which is about ten percent lower than what they are capable of. Although the PP is struggling, the Penalty Kill should not be overlooked. Washington has allowed the most power play goals (tie) this season and will be without penalty killer, David Steckel who along with Eric Fehr will be healthy scratches.

Tonight's game would be a good time to improve those dismal numbers as Dallas ranks near the bottom of the league in the Power Play (15.8%) and the Penalty Kill (77.5%).



Victor Kozlov- 1 Goal, 0 Assists. Comments- Although not completley healthy, Koz on the first line is a much better idea than sticking Chris Clark up there.

Mike Green- 1 Goal, 1 Assist. Comments- Look for "Game Over" to get back on track tonight. Both his points will come on the re-vamped Power Play.

Jose Theodore- 24 Saves. Comments- JT60 with another great game. Without him, this game could get a little lob-sided.


Mike Ribeiro- 1 Goal, 2 Assists. Comments- This guy is the real deal, coming of a 5-point night against the Islanders, he's going to get on the board early and often.

Sean Avery- 0 Goals, 0 Assists. Comments- It's Sean Avery, he's going to be a problem for the opposing team every night.

Brad Richards- 0 Goals, 2 Assists. Comments- The former Tampa-Bay Lightning forward has 29 career points against the Caps, and is going to rack up a few more tonight on the Power Play.

Final Score

Washington 3 Dallas 4 (OT)

Comments- The Capitals WILL get their Power Play back on track, BUT Marty Turco is just too much for the Capitals tonight. His outlet pass to Rookie of the Year candidate, Fabian Brunnstrom will end the game in Overtime.

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