Game 9 Preview: Caps v. Nashville Predators

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, October 28, 2008 | , , | 0 comments »

The Washington Capitals (4-3-1) return from their three-game western swing to face the Nashville Predators (4-4-0) at 7:00 pm from the Verizon Center.

The Caps got an overtime goal from leading scorer Alexander Semin to salvage a win on the road trip in Dallas, 6-5. It was an unusually high-scoring affair with the Stars, normally one of the stingier teams in the league. Sergei Federov and Tomas Fleischmann scored twice each, and Tyler Sloan got his first NHL goal in his third career game.

Federov became the leading Russian-born goal scorer in the NHL, passing Alexander Mogilny for most goals. He had previously set the mark for assists and points.

Washington enters this contest without one of its most important players, Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin left the team Monday to travel to Russia to be with his ailing grandfather. GM George McPhee said Ovechkin will probably miss Saturday's contest as well, but set no official time timetable for last year's Hart Trophy winner. Brooks Laich will move up to the first line with Nicklas Backstrom and Viktor Kozlov.

Goalie Brent Johnson (1-1-1, 2.71, .885) gets the start in net against the Predators.

Coach Barry Trotz' Nashville team comes into this game fairly well rested, having played just twice in the last nine games. They defeated the L.A. Kings 5-4 Saturday night and dropped a 5-3 decision to Calgary Thursday. Both contests were in Nashville.

The Predators are led up front by C Jason Arnott, RW Martin Erat and RW J.P. Dumont. Blue liners of note are Shea Weber, who is tied with Dumont with 9 points to pace the Preds, and Ryan Suter.

Dan Ellis is Nashville's primary goalie, having started seven of their eight games. His record is 4-4-0 with a 3.35 GAA and .867 S%.

WAS: PP-16th (17.5%, 7/40); PK-20th (77.8%, 10/45)

NSH: PP-17th (17.1%, 7/41); PK-26th (75.6%, 10/41)

WAS: LW Alexander Semin (7-7-14, +6); C Michael Nylander (2-6-8, +3); C/D Sergei Federov (3-4-7, +7)

NSH: RW J.P. Dumont (2-7-9, -1); D Shea Weber (3-6-9, +3); C Jason Arnott (3-4-7, -2)


WAS: RW Chris Clark (0-1-1, even); C Nicklas Backstrom (0-3-3, +1); LW Dave Steckel (1-1-2, -2)

NSH: C Vernon Fiddler (0-0-0, -3); D Dan Hamhuis (0-2-2, -5); C Radek Bonk (1-1-2, -1)

WAS: D Tom Poti (groin-DTD); D Brian Pothier (concussion-OUT); LW Alex Ovechkin (personal-OUT)

NSH: LW Martin Gelinas (knee-DTD); RW Steve Sullivan (back-doubtful); RW Jed Ortmeyer (knee-OUT)