Caps-Flames preview

The Washington Capitals and the Calgary Flames both sit at 6-4-0 to start the year but they have different issues. The Caps are having trouble scoring and the Flames are giving up way too many goals. Washington is coming off a nearly lifeless effort against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday where they lost 2-1 with Alex Ovechkin scoring the team’s only goal.

It’s unaware of what Bruce Boudreau will do to get the team out of this scoring rut but on Friday, he made the team watch some select moments from Thursday’s game against the Wild. My guess it was for motivation for the team but who knows how much that will do. Boudreau hasn’t done much to shake up the lineup other than supposedly adding Boyd Gordon into the lineup and taking Mathieu Perrault out. Tyler Sloan is also hurt and is a game-time decision so Branden Fahey could replace him instead.

Know Your Enemy: Calgary Flames edition

The Flames are tied for 6th in the league in goals with 30 and have been getting a lot of production from RW Rene Bourque. They’re coming off a 6-5 loss to the Colorado Avalanche which showed them playing some poor defense and starting their backup goaltender Henrik Karlsson. The Flames have a lot of money invested in their blue-line (including a newly re-signed Mark Giordano) so that’s definitely a disappointing performance from them. It will be a good chance for the Caps to get their offense back on track but an issue with that is Miikka Kiprusoff has a history of playing well against Washington. Not to mention they have a strong penalty killing unit (87 percent effective on the year) An interesting note is that their leading point getter is Brendan Morrison, former Capital. It’s good to know he’s starting the year off well.

Things To Watch

Capitals:

Mike Knuble: Man, he sure got old fast. I’m expecting him to contribute better than he has so far and he’s been doing a good job of getting to the net the past few games so I just hope he keeps that up. Good things happen when players go to the net and Knuble’s made his living by doing that. I think he’s due for a goal now.

3rd line (Chimera-Fleischmann-Fehr): This line (with a different center some nights) was great last season but they’re definitely off to a slow start, much like the rest of the Caps offense. I think it’s time they start making the most of their matchups. If Branden Mikkelson and Cory Sarich are matched up against them then I wouldn’t be surprised if they found their way on the score sheet.

Brandon Fahey: Just to hope he looks better than he did in Nashville.

Karl Alzner, Jeff Schultz, Mike Green, Eric Fehr: All (except Alzner) are Alberta natives and their folks will be in attendance tonight. I just felt like mentioning that.

Flames

Miikka Kiprusoff: Like I said, he lights out against the Caps and could be the reason the Flames steal a win if needed.

Mark Giordano: Since he was just recently signed to a contract where they’re trusting him to be the team’s future powerplay QB, I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts going on a tear as a result.

Jay Bouwmeester/Robyn Regehr: The two of them both had awful games, especially the latter. No better way to respond than shutting down Ovechkin and co.

Rene Bourque: Leads the team in goals and he’s been a force for Calgary this season and is likely going to continue that pace given his potential.

Lines

Washington Capitals


Ovechkin – Backstrom – Knuble

Laich – Gordon – Semin

Chimera – Fleischmann – Fehr

Hendricks – Steckel – Bradley

Green – Schultz

Carlson – Erskine

Alzner – Fahey

Out: Johansson, King, Perrault, Sloan, Poti, Varlamov

Calgary Flames


Tanguay – Stajan – Iginla

Hagman – Jokinen – Bourque

Glencross – Backlund – Morrison

Conroy – Meyer – Jackman

Regehr – Bouwmeester

Giordano – White

Mikkelsson – Sarich

Out: Kotalik, Langkow, Stone, Ivannas,

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