CAPS GAME NIGHT, GAME 6: Something Bruin in D.C.

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | , , | 0 comments »

Boston Bruins (2-1-0-4, 3rd NE) v. Washington Capitals (4-1-0-8, 1st SE)
7:30 pm, Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

It hasn't been pretty much of the time, but the Washington Capitals ride a four-game winning streak into tonight's game against the Boston Bruins, winners of two of their first three games of the young season.

Boston opened their season with a pair of games in Prague against the Phoenix Coyotes, splitting those games and beating a deflated and undermanned New Jersey team 4-1 Saturday night. 

The Bruins have two very capable goaltenders in Tim Thomas and Tuuka Rask, and Thomas is expected to start in net tonight.  He's won two straight games, shutting out Phoenix 3-0 and getting the win against the Devils.

Boston’s biggest off-season move was the acquisition of RW Nathan Horton in a deal with the Florida Panthers. Horton paces the Bruins’ scoring with three goals and five points in three games. Horton also scored Boston’s lone power play tally in the campaign.

The Caps are banged up pretty good right now.  There's a deep list of players nursing nagging injuries, but from this morning's skate, it sounds like Coach Bruce Boudreau will get at least Tom Poti (LBI) back on his blue line, but Matt Bradley (LBI) will miss another game up front.  Boudreau called Mike Green (shoulder) and Boyd Gordon (undisclosed) game-time decisions, while Marcus Johansson (foot) and D.J. King stayed out on the ice with Semyon Varlamov after practice.

D John Carlson left Monday's practice early with soreness resulting from a blocked shot against Nashville Saturday night, prompting Brooks Laich to practice with the defensemen, preparing for an emergency assignment.

Boudreau confirmed that Michal Neuvirth will start, and with good reason.  The rookie netminder has been terrific thus far, putting up a 2.16 GAA and .930 save pct. in the first five contests.  Neuvirth is the first Caps goalie to start and go the distance in each of the team’s first five games since Olie Kolzig did so in 1999-00.

Tonight will mark the first game Varlamov will dress, and the Caps' coach wants to get him into a game in the near future.   “I’m hoping he is going to play soon,” Boudreau said of Varlamov. “But Neuvy is playing pretty well.”

Something to look for:  Washington has killed off all 21 shorthanded situations it has faced through five games, one of two teams -- with the Florida Panthers -- perfect on the penalty kill this year. It is the longest stretch the Capitals have gone without allowing a power-play goal (in terms of games) since a six-game stretch from Feb. 8-20.

Despite the half-hour later start, doors at Verizon Center will open at their normal time of 6:00 pm.


BOS:  Nathan Horton (3-2-5, +1), David Krejci (0-4-4, +1), Tim Thomas (2-0-0, 0.50, .984)
WAS:  Alex Ovechkin (4-4-8, +2), John Carlson (1-5-6, even), Michael Neuvirth (4-1-0, 2.16, .930)


BOS:  D Andrew Ference (Thumb-PROB)
WAS:  RW Matt Bradley (LBI-OUT), D Mike Green (sholder-QUE), Boyd Gordon (undisclosed-QUE), Marcus Johansson (foot-PROB), Tom Poti (LBI-PROB), John Carlson (LBI-PROB)