CAPS GAME NIGHT--GAME 47: Trying to Stay On Point On Long Island

Posted by Dave Nichols | Monday, January 19, 2009 | 0 comments »

The Washington Capitals (29-14-3-61, first in Southeast, second in East) travel to New York to face the Islanders (12-29-4-28, fifth in Atlantic) in a matinee, a 2:00 pm start time at Nassau Coliseum.

The Caps look to start another winning streak, coming off back-to-back wins over Pittsburgh and Boston, while the Islanders try to break a seven-game losing streak.

Since the Caps beat the Islanders on Dec. 16, New York has won just twice (2-17-2). They own the worst record in the league at this point in the season.

Coach Bruce Boudreau's team has had something of a history playing up--and down--to their competition this season, as home losses to Edmonton and Columbus last week illustrate. But the team played a complete 60-minute game in a tight, defensive game beating Boston Saturday night 2-1.

The Islanders' struggles are obvious, and many. They are the third lowest scoring team in the East, registering just 112 goals in 45 games, a 2.48 goals per game average. The Caps, meanwhile, average 3.24 goals per game and are fifth overall in the league in goals scored.

Goaltending has been a major problem for the Islanders as well. Started Rick DiPietro has been out most of the season, and fill-in Joey MacDonald has been inconsistent, and now he's out with a groin injury too. The Caps will probably face Yann Danis (0-5-0, 3.82, .873 in six games) in this afternoon's tilt.

Leading scorers for the Islanders are all-star defenseman Mark Streit (8-25-33, minus-3), and forwards Bill Guerin (14-18-32, minus-8) and Doug Weight (7-25-32, minus-11).

Jose Theodore (16/8/2, 2.87, .895) will start in net for the Caps.

WAS: PP-5th (22.7%, 44/194); PK-23rd (79.6%, 44/216)
NYI: PP-18th (17.2%, 32/186); PK-14th (82.0%, 36/200)

WAS: D Brian Pothier (Concussion-OUT); D Tom Poti (Groin-IR); RW Boyd Gordon (Back-probable); Shaone Morrison (Lower body- Day to Day)

NYI: C Mike Sillinger (Hip-IR); LW Sean Bergenheim (Side-Questionable); G Rick DiPietro (Knee-Out); LW Andy Hilbert (Foot-IR); G Joey MacDonald (Groin-Out); D Freddy Meyer (Groin-Questionable); D Andy Sutton (Foot-IR); C Doug Weight (Leg-IR)