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Predators at Capitals In-Game Blog: 12-20-11

 

Pregame Preview:

As the Capitals prepare for their second meeting of the season against the Nashville Predators, veteran leader Mike Knuble laces up his skates for his 1,000th career NHL game. To pay tribute to Knuble, fans will be given honorary buttons commemorating his achievement. The team will also wear jerseys with 22 on the back during pregame warmups and he will be honored in a pregame ceremony.

The Caps first matchup against the Preds in mid-November was a memorable 3-1 loss, that saw four goals in the final five minutes. Washington took a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute but gave up a goal within the next 30 seconds. The Predators added two more goals in the final 25 seconds of the game.

Fast forward a month later and the Predators are riding a five game winning streak while the Capitals are treading water with a 4-5 record in Dale Hunter’s first nine games as head coach.

The Predators are a lethal team whether at home or on the road. So far this season, they have evenly split their season total of 38 points with 19 in both scenarios.

1st Period Overview:

- Caps getting the early pressure on Predators goalie Anders Lindback tonight.

- Dmitry Orlov shows off some nice moves and then a solid hit against the boards.

- Lindback with the nice save as the puck bounces down his stick.

- Five minutes into the game, the Caps are outshooting the Predators 3-0.

- Marcus Johansson receiving a nice mention for his 100th career NHL game tonight.

- Alex Ovechkin puts it in the net at the 7:42 mark. 1-0 Caps. Karl Alzner and John Carlson with the assists. That was Ovechkin’s 11th goal of the year.

- Matt Hendricks showing he doesn’t want to fight in this instance, which gives the #Caps a power play with 10:48 left in the period.

- Caps are targeting Lindback up high but keep missing.

- Nicklas Backstrom gets his 12th goal on the season with a nice wraparound effort. Roman Hamrlik gets the assist.

- Alex Semin receives a two minute penalty for boarding with 3:08 left in the period.

- Dennis Wideman saves a scoring opportunity by laying his body out to block a shot.

Faceoffs Won: NSH – 9 WAS – 12
Hits: NSH – 10 WAS – 5
Shots on Goal: NSH – 4 WAS – 11
Goals: NSH – 0 WAS – 2

2nd Period Overview:

- The Predators are getting more scoring chances in front of Neuvirth but he keeps stonewalling them. Great goaltending so far.

- Ovechkin serving the penalty for too many men on the ice for the Caps.

- Troy Brouwer fires a shot that appears to bounce off the post.

- Neuvirth with another glove save at the 8:02 mark. Still having a great game.

- Alzner called for the delay of game with 7:35 left in the period.

- David Legwand had a nice opportunity to bounce one in off his leg but Neuvirth continues to show cat-like reflexes tonight.

- Semin and Johansson missed a great 1-2 opportunity right there.

- Jason Chimera gets 2 minutes for cross-checking. He felt he was boarded into the wall and took it out on Roman Josi.

- The Predators dominated the 2nd period offensively but had no luck getting on the board. The Caps still were able to create scoring chances despite Nashville staying in Washington’s zone most of the period.

Total Faceoffs Won: NSH – 16 WAS – 21
Total Hits: NSH – 16 WAS – 12
Total Shots on Goal: NSH –12 WAS – 14
Total Goals: NSH – 0 WAS – 2

3rd Period Overview:

- Predators catch up to Caps with 14 shots on goal.

- Was surprised to see Ovechkin break out of his routine and actually cut across the middle w/ the puck instead of staying down the left side.

- Sergei Kostitsyn gets his fifth goal of the year at the 4:40 mark. Caps only up 2-1 now.

- Semin fires a laser over Lindback’s left shoulder for his 7th goal of the year. Caps lead 3-1.

- It’s Unleash the Fury time here at Verizon Center with just under nine minutes.

- Caps on the PP with 6:41 to go.

- Caps take advantage with their fourth goal.

- Caps pull off the 4-1 victory and work their way to 5-5 under Dale Hunter.

Total Faceoffs Won: NSH – 23 WAS – 35
Total Hits: NSH – 21 WAS – 17
Total Shots on Goal: NSH –21 WAS – 23
Total Goals: NSH – 1 WAS – 4

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