TV: NHLN-US (HD), MSG PLUS (HD) RADIO: WFAN 660 AM
Last 10 Games: Washington 9-1-0; New Jersey 7-3-0
Know Your Enemy: Rock the Red
What Rock The Red is saying about the Capitals:
Despite the injuries that have taken key players out of the lineup, the Capitals played an excellent game against the Wings and were a crossbar away from taking the game to overtime. Look for the Capitals to rebound with a strong showing tonight as they look to start a new streak.
What we think of the Capitals:
Say what you will about NJ being on fire as of late (2 losses in 2 weeks to the last place Senators will get you an argument from me about how good NJ actually is..) but the Capitals are putting it together at the right time. I'll be honest, when I play EA's NHL 11, there are two teams I use where I am untouchable and one of those would be the Washington Capitals. I'm not surprised to see them coming together late in the season. They took a 9 game winning streak into Detroit and saw it come to end. You're going to have a hard time selling me on the thought that the Detroit game starts a losing streak for Washingtong.
Season Series: Washington leads the season series 2-1. Tonight is the final time they will see each other in the regular season (notice I said regular season because I remain hopefully of climbing into the playoffs!!)
Last Meeting: December 21, 2010 - Caps won 5-1
Tonight's Game: Get out those Christmas Tree jerseys because tonight is ugly uniform night retro night. I'm sorry, I know that will get a reaction from readers but for me those jerseys are kind of hideous, it was the reason we did away with them in the first place. I just hope whatever magic those jerseys had against Pittsburgh last year is still in there somewhere.
Find a way to move on from last night. It's not that the Devils played a bad game because they really didn't. They outshot Ottawa and pretty much outplayed them. One lucky goal was the difference in that game but Ottawa is a team you HAVE to beat when battling to get in the playoffs. The Devils haven't played a team of the Caps calibre in a while so if the Devils don't raise their game to the Capitals level, call it early. The last time Washington was in the building, they didn't really respect their opponent and were beaten badly. Don't expect that tonight. This is a must win in my opinion.
Tonight was supposed to mark the first time Arnott returned to NJ since being traded but he'll be sitting out of the lineup for the 3rd straight game. Hopefully, Steckel wants to make his former team pay!!
Playoff Race: Devils currently sitting in 12th with 70 points. Toronto sits in 11th with 72 points and Atlanta sits in 10th with 72. A win tonight moves NJ up in the standings but Atlanta has a critical matchup with Buffalo tomorrow night and Toronto plays host to Boston tomorrow night. 9th place Carolina plays host to the Islanders tonight but are out of the reach of NJ for tonight.