CAPS GAME NIGHT--GAME 44: Looking to Drill the Oilers

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | , , , | 0 comments »

The Washington Capitals (27-13-3-57, first in Southeast) face the Edmonton Oilers (20-18-3-42, fifth in Northwest) in the only meeting between the two clubs this season, at 7:00 pm from Verizon Center.

The Caps look to get back on the good foot, suffering embarrassing defeat in their last two contests. Saturday night, Washington dropped a 5-4 decision to Montreal on a goal with 22 seconds remaining, and Friday lost at home in regulation for only the second time this season, shut out by Steve Mason and Columbus, 3-0.

Washington has beaten Edmonton six straight at home, a streak that reaches back to 1997. The Oilers have not won in Washington once since 1990.

Edmonton is expected to be without their leading scorer, Ales Hemsky, who has missed seven straight games because of post-concussion symptoms and is listed day-to-day. He did travel with the team, though.

Lost in the bitter disappointment of defeat in Montreal was the re-emergence of forward Alexander Semin, who scored twice and looked, for the first time since returning from injury, like his old self. Semin, despite missing 18 games this season, is third on the team in scoring (16-20-36, +21) and second in goals.

Also, the team is getting healthier, as John Erskine will return to the lineup tonight and should be paired with Mike Green. Jeff Schultz and Sergei Federov both will dress as well. Boyd Gordon (back) and Eric Fehr should be the scratches, unless someone has a problem in warmups. Tom Poti is eligible, but will not yet return, from Long Term Injured Reserve.

Tyler Sloan and Sean Collins were reassigned to Hershey (AHL).

Jose Theodore (14-7-2, 2.89, .895) is expected to face Dwayne Roloson (12-8-3, 2.64, .917) in net.

WAS: 6th (22.5%, 40/178); PK-24th (79.5%, 41/200)
EDM: 14th (18.2%, 34/187); PK-28th (74.9%, 45/179)

WAS: D Brian Pothier (Concussion-OUT); D Tom Poti (Groin-IR); RW Boyd Gordon (Back-OUT)

EDM: RW Ales Hemsky (Nose/concussion-IR); RW Fernando Pisani (Ankle-Out); LW Robert Nilsson (Undisclosed-Questionable); RW Zack Stortini (Knee-IR); D Jason Strudwick (Wrist-Questionable)