Pregame #5: Washington Capitals at Nashville Predators (10/16/10)

Washington Capitals (3-1-0) at Nashville Predators (3-0-0)
Bridgestone Arena
Time: 8:00 pm
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 820AM, 1500AM and XM
Previous Games:
Sept 25, 2010 WAS@NSH 2-1 W (Preseason)
Oct 3, 2010 WASvNSH 0-3 L (Preseason)
Games Remaining: (none)
Game Promotion:
Magnet Schedule Night
Familiar Faces of Former Capitals:
Predators GM David Poile (GM of the Capitals 1982-1997)
The Enemy:
On the Forecheck


[UPDATE: Turned into another ovetime thiller. Post game wrap-up is up here.]

The Washington Capitals take to the road for the second time this season, heading to Nashville to face their first Western Conference opponent this season – the Predators. Both teams are putting a three-game winning streak on the line tonight, one Washington will have to test without Mike Green who is out with a stinger. Tom Poti, Marcus Johansson and Matt Bradley are also game-time decisions for the Caps. The blueline boo-boos necessitated the recall of Brian Fahey, who will be playing in his first NHL game.

Update: Per Katie Carrera of The Washington Post, Tom Poti, Matt Bradley and Mike Green did not make the trip to Nashville and will not play in tonight’s game.  Brian Fahey, age 29, will play his first NHL game tonight after 492 games in the minors; he will wear #44.  Marcus Johansson is ready to play, which means D.J. King will sit.  Michal Neuvirth will start as expected, Semyon Varlamov will don his new #1 jersey for the first time from the bench.

For more information on Fahey, check out our new Roster page where his various player pages are linked.

Nashville’s #3 scorer from 2009-10, Martin Erat, is out tonight.


He’d make the jump to read the rest, of course.


Three Things to Watch For:

Piping Up: With Semyon Varlamov off of IR and dressing for the first time this season, there is some rumor that he may get the nod over Michal Neuvirth. Neuvi has started all four games for the Caps thus far this season, and has been impressively stout, posting a 2.22 GAA and a .924 Sv %. Whoever Boudreau taps to backstop the Caps will be facing off against Anders Lindback, who stepped in to relieve an injured Pekka Rinne during the Preds’ season opener. He was won back-to-back starts since taking down the Blackhawks and the Blues along the way, compiling a 2.19 GAA and .925 Sv%.

Call on Carlson: Look for offensive dynamo John Carlson to take over the point on the power play tonight with Green currently on the shelf. For all his youth and defensive lapses, Carlson’s offense has been outstanding. With 5 points in 4 games, Carlson leads all NHL Rookies and is tied for second among all NHL Defensemen. Look for him to pad his totals against a weak Nashville penalty kill (66.7%). He will most likely be paired with Jeff Schultz tonight.

Isn’t that Special: In the previous bullet we mentioned the Preds penalty kill is hovering under a 70% success rate, good for 28th in the league – the perfect cure for a Capitals power play that has only converted twice this season. On the flip side, the Caps penalty killing unit will look to keep its undefeated streak alive against a team ranked 6th in the NHL (30.8%).