Saturday, December 13, 2003

GameDay: @ Washington (9-18-1-1), 7:00 EST

Tonight is the second of two games between these two clubs this season. The Caps won the last game 4-1 on November 24th in Detroit. Since then, the Wings have gone 6-1-1-1, outscoring their opponents 41 to 17 and becoming the highest scoring offense in the NHL with 107 goals. (Atlanta is #2, by the way, with 92. Which is pretty amazing considering where they were last year). They are 11-3-2-1 in their last 17 games and are tied with the St. Louis with the most wins in the Conference (17). The Wings are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the 'Hawks, a game in which they never led. They are without 10 regulars and playing with a roster filled with minor leaguers but are still finding ways to win and score goals. The Caps haven't been so successful since that game, winning only three times and losing five. Their head coach, Bruce Cassidy, was fired on Wednesday and replaced by Glen Hanlon (a former Red Wings goalie). In their first game under their new coach, the Caps beat the Bruins 6-5 at home, scoring on three of their first five shots and ending a three game losing streak. They have the second worst record in the league but a comeback may be in the making. Curtis Joseph will start again tonight since Dominik Hasek and Manny Legace are both still out with injuries. Hopefully he won't be nearly as soft as he was on Thursday in Chicago, where the goal he allowed in OT was particularly bad. We will not see any of the injured Wings back on the ice tonight, including The Captain, who is probably the closest to coming back but did not make the trip to Washington with the team. Henrik Zetterberg will take part in warmups again and may be available as soon as Monday night for the game against the Florida Panthers. The Blues' 3-2 overtime win against the Jackets last night put them just one point back of the Wings. They play again tonight against the Kings and that makes this game that much more important for the Wings. They've done a good job so far of holding the Blues off and keeping the #1 spot in the Central Division and I'd hate to see them falter now. Considering what the Caps did to them last time they faced off, I think the Wings will be looking for a bit of revenge (and redemption) tonight. Hopefully they do something like what they did to the Ducks and completely dominate all phases of the game. Sources: ESPN and Freep


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