Monday, November 24, 2008

Pre-Game: Capitals @ Wild

Washington will finish up their four-game road trip tonight at the Xcel Energy Center against the Minnesota Wild (11-6-1).

  • The last time these two met was the first game since the trade deadline. Brooks Laich, Eric Fehr, and Tomas Fleischmann combined for three goals and four assists in the Capitals 4-1 victory.
  • Tonight's game will be shown on VERSUS (everyone's favorite hockey network) where the Capitals are 2-0 this year. This year the Caps will have seven more games on national television. Minnesota played on VERSUS a few nights ago against Pittsburgh and looked like a very strong hockey team. They beat the Pens 2-1 in the shootout...And for the Wild that is a textbook win. They are defensively-oriented and are first in the NHL in goals against per game.
  • Minnesota has dropped their last two games and has averaged under two goals-per-game in the past eight games. The Wild rank close to last in goals for, but Niklas Backstrom (Finland) has been a stonewall in net. Backstrom (11-5-1/2.00/.933) is currently fifth in the All-Star balloting.
  • The Wild's penalty kill is ranked first (91%) and they have only conceded three power play goals at home. Minnesota is also 4-0 when leading after the 1st period... but they struggle at playing catch-up and are 0-4 when trailing after the 2nd period.
  • Washington will once again be without the services of Alex Semin, Mike Green, and Sergei Fedorov. This year the Capitals are 0-2 with Green out of the lineup and 1-2-1 with Semin sitting out.
  • The last time Minnesota beat Washington was February of 2002, but the last time the Capitals won at Minnesota was in 1993, so something's got to give...

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