Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pre-Game: Capitals vs Hurricanes

A change of venue was just what this Capitals team needed as they went on the road to snap a season-long four game losing streak. While the Caps may not be as invincible as some thought on home ice, they have won five straight on the road and are third in the Conference in road wins.

Now they welcome in a Carolina team that is log-jammed in the thick of the playoff race. They currently hold the eight spot, up by a point on Florida, but they are just two wins back from Philadelphia who is in fourth place with 82 points.

Although they've dropped their past two, the Canes have enjoyed the start of March where they have gone 4-1-1, averaging 4.5 goals-per-game including a 9-3 trouncing of the Lightning. In that game, Carolina was 60% with the extra man (3/5). The Cane's power play has scored in seven straight games dating back to their 5-3 defeat against the Thrashers to end February.

Goals with the extra man should be hard to come by against a stingy Caps penalty kill that has successfully killed off the past eight penalty kills. The stats can be deceiving--Washington ranks second-to-last in power play goals against-- yet have seem to found some stability while being a man down.

While the key to winning may not be solely dependent on special teams, the Capitals have struggled within the face-off circle. Without Sergei Fedorov last game, the Caps won just two face-offs in the first period and won just 33% of face-offs on the night.

Feds is still questionable tonight, but is much needed against a Carolina team that ranks in the top 10 in face-off percentage in the league. Donald Brashear is still listed as questionable, but we don't need him Caps Insider is reporting that his condition is improving.

Both the Devils and Bruins won their last game and are playing tonight...So, with that being said. No more losing streaks with just 13 games left...

BallHype: hype it up!

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