The Caps lead with a familiar storyline against a Northeast powerhouse. Last year, it was the Ottawa Senators, whom the Capitals beat all four times, outscoring the Sens 22-12. This year, they have already beat the Eastern Conference leading Bruins 3-1 on home ice. Washington has uncharacteristically lost two of the past three at home, and have managed only three goals over that span.
Boston knows a thing or two about winning on the road, having won all seven away games since losing to the Caps on December 10th. In addition, the Bruins have the best win percentage (62%) when trailing after the first. One stat going in the Caps favor is that the Bruins are only one of two teams that has never won a game when trailing going into the third. The Bruins are 0-6-1 when losing after two periods.
The B's are led by Marc Savard who has just made a killing playing against Washington. His 42 points in 32 games rank just one point behind Savard's 43 points (31 games) in his career against Pittsburgh.
Tim Thomas should get the start tonight and has dominated the Eastern Conference. Against the Atlantic and Southeast Divisions, Thomas is 9-0-2. Timmy is also 8-1-1 against the Caps in his career.
It seems as though each game the Caps play is a pivotal game. First the Flyers' game was the most important, the Pens' game is a 'must win', and now Washington has to face a Boston team that has won 14/16 and maintains an 11 point lead on the Caps.