Wednesday April 15, 2009 @ 7 Pm @ Verizon Center
TV: CSN-DC Radio: WJFK 106.7 FM
|29-9-3||Home v Away||17-19-5|
|6-2-2||Last 10 Games||5-4-1|
|25.2% (2nd)||Powerplay||13.9% (29th)|
|80.6% (t-17th)||Penaltykill||87.8% (1st)|
Powerplay vs Penalty Kill
Special teams are going to be a key factor in this series with the best powerplay in the East going against the best penalty kill in the East. In the four games they faced each other the Caps scored four powerplay goals off of 15 opportunities. That’s a 26.7% success rate which is the best in the East verse the Rangers.
On the other hand, the Rangers went 1/15 on their powerplay opportunities against the Caps. That’s a 6.7% rate which is the worst in the East verse the Caps. Brooks Laich is also going to play a huge factor in front of the net for Washington.
There has been a lot of doubts surrounding Jose Theodore throughout the season on his performance. The most important question is can he lead the Caps to the promise land–or past the first round for that matter? The experts at ESPN think he’ll be able to accomplish at least that.
He has been getting the job done in my mind going 8-3-1 in his last 12 starts. He was 2-0-1 verse the Rangers this season with an average of three goals against, and a save % under .900. But it’s not about the stats, it’s whether or not you win games, and Theo has accomplished that the last half of the season. He is 24-10-4 with a 2.61 GAA and a .909 save percentage since December 23, 2008.
Home Sweet Home
This is going to be the difference maker in the series. Home-ice advantage for the Caps is going to make it hard for the Rangers to come away with one or two victories at Verizon–which is what they would have to do in order to win the series. The Caps are 29-9-3 when rockin’ the red at home this year, and the Rangers are under .500 on away ice. The top four players for Washington have over 40 points at home Ovechkin (59), Backstrom (44), Green (43), and Semin (41).
On the other side, the Caps own the Garden. Ovechkin had 4 points (2g, 2a) in 2 games at MSG, and Green had 2 goals in only 1 game. The Caps also came back from a 4-0 defecit to win 5-4 in overtime by a blast from Shaone Morrisonn.