Pregame #13: Washington Capitals vs Boston Bruins (11/05/10)

Washington Capitals (8-4-0) vs Boston Bruins (7-2-0)
Verizon Center
Time: 7:00 pm
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 820AM, 1500AM and XM
Previous Games:
Oct 19, 2010 BOS@WAS 1-3 L
Oct 21, 2010 WAS@BOS 1-4 L
Games Remaining:
Dec 18, 2010 WSH@BOS  7:00 PM ET
Game Promotion: (none)
Familiar Faces of Former Capitals:
Trent Whitfield (1999-02, 02-04)
The Enemy:
Days of Y’Orr
Something’s Bruin
Stanley Cup of Chowder

Entering their middle contest of their current home stand, the Washington Capitals look to avenge their two early season losses to the Boston Bruins tonight, and blemish the last unbeaten road streak in the NHL. Coming off a shoot out victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Caps will look to keep their offense firing on all cylinders against a stingy B’s defense that limited them to 2 goals in 2 previous meetings combined. It’ll be a challenge for the Caps: the Bruins account for half of the Caps’ 4 losses this season, and the B’s have won 7 of their last 8, outscoring opponents 27-8 along the way.

Three Things to Watch For:
Power Up!
Converting 5 of their last 8 chances with the extra man, DC now ranks 10th in the league on the power play at 19.6%. Since Boston has kept the Caps to 0-for-8 on the power play in 2 meetings this season, DC will need to keep with their excelled man-advantage play if they wish to find a kink in Tim Thomas’ armor. As for the other side of Special Teams, the Capitals currently stand fifth in the NHL with a penalty killing rate of 89.1%. After allowing Boston to convert 3-for-4 man-up chances last game, they’ll need to clamp down if Washington is to have a chance tonight.

Timmayyy: As mentioned earlier, Tim Thomas has been the bane of the Capitals existence. He’s currently 7-0-0 on the season with a unheard of 0.72 GAA and a .977 Sv %, and has only given up 2 goals TOTAL over his last three games. The easy answer to defeating Thomas? Put an array shots on net, which is something Washington hasn’t done as of late. In their last four games, the Caps have averaged 28.25 shots on net – and only topped 30 once since October 23rd.

Unanswered Questions: Will Alex Ovechkin keep on his current 4-game point streak? Will Alex Semin continue to impress in his contract year? Will Mike Knuble ever find the back of the net? Will Scott Hendricks and Greg Campbell continue their feud? Will the dollar ever rebound? Will they ever stop re-releasing Avatar? Hopefully we will have some answers after tonight’s match-up.