Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pre-Cap: Capitals vs. Devils

The Capitals start a home-and-home series with the Devils tonight, putting a four-game win streak on the line. Known for defensive hockey, the Devils have found themselves in unfamiliar territory with All-Star goalie Martin Brodeur sidelined for at least 3 months.

Washington Capitals (9-4-2, last game 5-1 win over Carolina)
New Jersey Devils (7-6-2, last game 5-2 loss to New York Rangers)

The story so far...
You couldn't ask for a better night from the Capitals top line Wednesday night. All four members of the "Young Guns" poster contributed multiple points. Energized by an early Ovechkin goal, the Caps cruised to victory. With Brodeur out tonight, the Caps will want to exploit the weakness in goal while playing solid in their own end.

Key Players
WSH: Alex Ovechkin, Jose Theodore
NJD: Brian Gionta, Zach Parise

Big shoes to fill
Scott Clemmensen, the Devil's third-string goalie, will be getting the start tonight. Clemmensen has only faced the Caps twice as a starter and averages a 2.61 GAA.

How it happened
Chances are you may not have actually seen how Brodeur was injured. Here's the video of the incident.

Walking the walk
On Oct. 31, Alex Semin's famous comments about Sidney Crosby were published by PuckDaddy. Since then, he has amassed 5 goals and 6 assists in 6 games. As for Crosby? He has 1 goal and 5 assists in 4 games (not including Thursday's Flyers bout). Jan. 14 can't come soon enough.

Getting to know your opponent
With Brodeur out, the Devils will have to adjust their defense-first style to a more offensive system. The change might not be as hard as some think: With third-year star Zach Parise leading the Devils in points, teams might find themselves burned if they think the Devils are a one-trick pony. Get to know Parise in this video.

11 days
That's how long it has been since Jose Theodore started a game. Theodore, who came off the bench Wednesday to stone the Canes on all shots faced, will start Friday's game. Johnson, if healthy, will likely start Saturday's game.

Remember fans...
Tonight it's ROCK THE RED; tommorrow it will be ROCK YOUR RED.


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