Pregame #11: Washington Capitals at Calgary Flames (10/30/10)

Washington Capitals (6-4-0) at Calgary Flames (6-4-0)
Arena: Scotiabank Saddledome
Time: 10:00 PM ET
TV: Comcast SportsNet DC, CBC (Away)
Radio: XM, 1500 & 820 AM
Previous Games: (none)
Games Remaining: (none)
Game Promotion: (none)
Familiar Faces of Former Capitals: Brendan Morrison (2009-10)
Know the Enemy:
4th Line Blog
Matchsticks & Gasoline

The Washington Capitals head to Calgary to face the Flames for their last contest of their most recent road trip, one that had the Caps play 3 games in 3 different time zones in 4 nights. DC will look to get back on track after a 2-1 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, while Calgary still tried to wrap their head around surrendering 3 goals in the 3rd period to the visiting Avalanche in a 6-5 loss. Although the game is the only contest between these two teams all season, it should be an interesting one nonetheless as both clubs appear evenly matched on paper: identical records (6-4-0), and nearly identical PP% (Caps: 10.5% (25th in the NHL), Flames: 13.3% (20th)), PK% (88.9% (5th), 87.8% (6th)), SOG/G (32.0 (11th), 32.4 (9th)) and SA/G (29.1 (14th), 28.4%)).

Don’t be cruel, make the jump to find out what to watch for.

Three Things To Watch For:

Light the Lamp: Although leading the league in goals last season, the Capitals currently rank 20th in the league averaging 2.70 goals/game. Of their 10 games this season, the Caps were only able to top 2 goals in regulation 3 times – with only being able to put 1 goal on the board in 3 of their last 5. 7 members of the roster have potted 2 goals this year, but no one has really caught fire: the only current scoring streaks for DC are Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Knuble’s 2 points in as many games. Across the ice, the Flames have netted at least four goals in each of their last four games and have 4 players with 3 or more goals on the season. The kicker? Brendan Morrison leads the team with 9 points in 9 games.

Bumps and Bruises: Remaining on the IR for DC are Semyon Varlamov (groin), Tom Poti (lower body) and Boyd Gordon (undisclosed), while Marcus Johansson (hip flexor) is questionable for Saturday’s game. With Varly perennially hurt, Boudreau hasn’t made mention if Michal Neuvirth will get the nod (after starting all but one game this season), or if Braden Holtby will get his first NHL start. Calgary hasn’t seen any recent injuries of note.

Home Sweet Home: The Caps’ contest in Calgary marks the return of Mike Green, Jeff Schultz, and Tyler Sloan to their hometown. Also in the Capitals organization from the Stampede City? Jay Beagle, Lawrence Nycholat, and Todd Ford. Of the Flames, only Ryan Stone is from Alberta’s largest city.