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Hurricanes at Capitals In-Game Blog: 03-11-2011

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Pregame Preview:

The Caps come into tonight’s contest riding high on a six-game winning streak, with the latest victory coming on home ice Wednesday night against the worst team in the NHL, the Edmonton Oilers. Three point milestones were set that night in Washington’s 5-0 route with Jason Arnott gaining his 900th, Dennis Wideman reaching his 200th and Alex Ovechkin eclipsing 600 at just 25 years of age.

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Why are the Caps Slumping?

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Wow, what the hell happened? I turn my back on the Capitals for two weeks, and they fall right apart!

Needless to say my absence has left me pretty far behind on my recapping, but really, do you want me to re-hash the last couple of weeks, game by game? Didn’t think so.

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Carolina Hurricanes @ Washington Capitals 12-11-2009

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Verizon Center Before The Game

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Eastern Conference Playoff Picture Shaping Up

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With Washington’s win over division rival Tampa Bay last night, the playoff picture is starting to come into focus.

Your top-3 seeds in the East are

1 – Boston
2 – Washington
3 – New Jersey

Seeds 4, 5, and 6 will be determined this weekend but will include Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Carolina

Seeds 7 and 8 will go to either New York or Montreal.

So who’s ready to play the playoff picture game?

If the season ended today, your match-ups would be

Bruins vs. Canadiens
Capitals vs. Rangers
Devils vs. Penguins
Flyers vs. Hurricanes

Caps fans will be pleased to see this, because it means there is a chance they may not have to face either Philly or Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

Now here’s the rub.

Philly technically has the fourth seed right now because they are a game up on Pittsburgh and Carolina (even though all three are tied in points and Philly has fewer wins). That extra game comes tomorrow in New York versus the Islanders.

Carolina technically has the fifth seed over Pittsburgh because they have one more win than the Penguins do (even though they are tied in points) and they face the third seeded Devils tomorrow.

The Rangers technically have the seventh seed because they have one more win than Montreal (even though they are also tied in points), and they face Philly on Sunday. The Rangers 2-1 win over Philly last night was huge, and when they face Philly on Sunday, it will be the Flyers third game in four days.

Pittsburgh and Montreal square off tomorrow.

So, each of the bottom five teams are facing a playoff opponent this weekend!

Games I’ll be Watching:

4/11 – 1:00pm – Carolina at New Jersey
Carolina needs the points more than New Jersey and after a humiliating loss to Buffalo ended their nine-game winning streak they’ll be spoiling for a fight. For Carolina this could mean the difference between the sixth and fourth seeds. New Jersey is already locked in as the third seed, but shouldn’t want to take their foot off the gas now when they are one game away from the playoffs.

4/11 – 2:00pm – Philadelphia at New York Islanders
The Isles have nothing to play for. They lost their pride a few nights ago when they dropped one to Carolina in a 9-0 shutout. Sure, they’ll be in front of their hometown fans (what’s left of them) but I don’t see that slowing down the Flyers at all. I won’t be watching this one as much as keeping an eye on it. The only chance New York has here is if the Flyers overlook them and forget what time the game starts. The Flyers may not want to leave it all on the ice in this game as they play again the very next day. Of course, the Islanders are in the same boat as they have to turn around and face Boston the next day.

4/11 – 7:00pm – Washington at Florida
No playoff implications here, I just enjoy watching the Capitals. Much like New Jersey, the Caps playoff spot is secure. The Caps are one game away from a franchise record for most wins in a single season, and Boudreau is going to want them to finish the season strong. Florida is playing in front of their hometown fans, and may just like to play spoiler.

4/11 – 7:00 – Pittsburgh at Montreal
This will be a good matchup as Montreal will be at home in front of their home fans and *ahem* their home officials. Both teams need the points. For Montreal it means the difference between seventh or eighth seed, For Pittsburgh it could mean the difference between sixth and fourth.

4/12 – 5:00pm – New York Rangers at Philadelphia
If Carolina and Pittsburgh both lose in regulation, the Flyers may not need this game, but New York will to secure the seventh seed. If Montreal loses in regulation, the Rangers won’t need this game, but Philly might (depending on whether or not they beat the Islanders) to secure the fourth seed.

There are far too many playoff scenarios to determine what the actual picture will be, but rest assured it’ll be fun to watch!

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‘Canes not Able to Beat Caps

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After going down to Carolina last night and beating the ‘Canes 4-1, the Washington Capitals provided an encore for their home fans by beating the ‘Canes 5-2. “Beating” is definitely the appropriate word.The Caps started the game flat, and fell to a 2-0 deficit a little more than halfway through the first period, when rookie netminder Michal Neuvirth was stung twice, both in short-handed situations. Those, however, would be the last two goals he would allow. The Caps finished the first period being outshot 15-9 and outscored 2-0. Read the rest of this entry »

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Caps Start Strong, Can Canes 4-1

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The Washington Capitals opened the ’08-’09 pre-season with a trip to the Southeast Division rival Carolina Hurricanes last night, leaving Carolina with a 4-1 victory. Much like NFL pre-season, the Caps didn’t play many of their star players, instead using the time to evaluate some of their young prospects. With a team returning a majority of the players from last year’s Southeast Division Championship team, the spots with the big club are few and far between.

For the Caps, Tomas “Flash” Fleischmann opened the scoring 6:21 in the first period, just seconds into the team’s first power play. The Caps acting Captain Matt Bradley tallied just 64 second later to close out the first period scoring.

The ‘Canes Joni Pitkanen opened the scoring in the second period with a power play goal 7:58 in. Four minutes later, Matheiu Perreault scored in his first NHL pre-season game, at the 11:57 mark. Flash closed out the scoring 17:06 into the period with his second power play goal, this time just 9 seconds into the extra man advantage.

For a good read regarding last night’s victory, be sure to check out Mike Vogel’s Postgame Notebook on

Carolina travels to the phone booth this evening for the re-match. You won’t be able to find it on TV or radio, but you can watch and listen live on Let’s get ’em!

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