Pregame #64: Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders

Washington Capitals (33-20-10) vs. New York Islanders (23-32-8)
Verizon Center
Time: 7:00 PM
TV: Comcast SportsNet (HD) (Game On!), MSG+
Radio: 820AM, 1500AM and XM
Previous Games:
Oct 13, 2010 NYI@WSH, 2-1 W
Jan 20, 2011 WSH@NYI, 2-1 W
Feb 26, 2011 WSH@NYI, 3-2 W 
Games Remaining: None
Familiar Faces of Former Capitals:
Milan Jurcina (2007-2010)
Former Islanders:
John Erskine (2005-06)
Tom Poti (2006-07)
The Enemy:
Our Bloguin Partner: Islanders Hockey Blog
Lighthouse Hockey

The Capitals return to The Phone Booth to wrap up a home-and-home series with the New York Islanders after a successful trip to Long Island.  The new-look Capitals will look to try out their new players against a depleted Islanders team.  The Capitals have traded away David Steckel, assigned Mathieu Perreault to Hershey, and waived DJ King.  Caps GM George McPhee acquired new faces, make the jump to read more about them.

Injury Report: The Capitals are expecting D Mike Green (ear, personal) to miss tonight’s game and Thursday night. RW Eric Fehr (shoulder) is expected to miss another week or two. There is no timetable for the return of D Tom Poti (groin).
-Islanders D Radek Martinek (lower body) and D Milan Jurcina (groin) are listed as questionable. The Islanders laundry list of long-term injuries includes D Mark Streit (shoulder), C Doug Weight (back), D Mike Mottau (hip), RW Trent Hunter (knee), D Mark Eaton (Hip), G Rick DiPietro (face), and G Kevin Poulin (knee). LW Trevor Gillies is suspended.

Big Trouble In Little China

Read more on the Chinatown Showdown!

What to watch for:

Jason Arnott: Arnott is a seasoned, grizzled veteran center who should bring a consistent physical presence to the team.  He will likely center the second line and get in front of the goal, causing havoc in front of the crease.    He should bring an instant boost to the powerplay.

Marco Sturm:  Sturm is a consistent, veteran scoring winger who is coming off a knee injury.  When Sturm is healthy, he is a speedy winger who can play on both special teams.  The big thing to watch will be how quickly he can integrate into the team’s system and how limited he is by his knee.  He should provide timely offense for the team heading into the playoffs.

Dennis Wideman:  Wideman is the instant help the Capitals’ powerplay needs.  He brings a solid resume for scoring from the point.  He is a right-handed shot, which will bring balance to the Caps’ blueline, especially with Mike Green in and out of the lineup.  The Caps now have the blueline depth they’ve been needing heading into the playoffs. 

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