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Sabres @ Capitals 7:00 PM ET 03/27/2012

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03-27-2012, 12:02 AM
  #1
Bure
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Sabres @ Capitals 7:00 PM ET 03/27/2012

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Quote:
SABRES (37-29-10) at CAPITALS (38-30-8)

TV: MSG-B (HD), CSN-MA (HD)

Last 10: Buffalo 6-2-2; Washington 7-1-2

Season Series: Buffalo won the first two meetings between the clubs by a combined 9-3, but the Capitals beat the Sabres, 3-1, at Verizon Center on Dec. 30. They haven't played since then.

Big Story: Huge game for both teams, who are in a virtual tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. They both have 84 points, but Washington owns the non-shootout wins tiebreaker (36-30) and thus the loose grip on eighth heading into the game. The Sabres have won four in a row and are 17-5-5 since the All-Star break, when they were 14th in the East and 10 points out of eighth.

Team Scope:

Sabres: Ryan Miller earned the NHL's Second Star of the Week honors for last week. He went 4-0 with a 1.26 goals-against average and .956 save percentage in beating the Lightning, Canadiens, Rangers and Wild. The Sabres won those four games by a combined 17-5 despite leading scorer Jason Pominville being held off the score sheet in two of them.

Drew Stafford and Cody Hodgson have both put up 6 points during Buffalo's current four-game winning streak while Thomas Vanek, Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno each have 5 points. Foligno has 10 points in eight games since getting called up on an emergency basis from AHL Rochester on March 9.

Despite the magnitude of Tuesday's game, the Sabres shouldn't expect a rah-rah speech from coach Lindy Ruff.

"I don't think I have to sell anything," Ruff told the Buffalo News Monday afternoon before the team departed for D.C. "They know where they're at. They understand where we can get to and how big the two points is. I shouldn't have to sell it this time of year."

Capitals: Alex Ovechkin finished one spot behind Miller in the Stars of the Week voting. He was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week for posting six goals and an assist in four games last week. The Capitals earned six out of a possible eight points to stay just ahead of the Sabres in eighth place.

Ovechkin is on fire of late with 7 goals in his last five games, 9 in his last seven, and 16 overall in the 25 he's played since his three-game suspension.

While coach Dale Hunter did not announce his starting goalie on Monday, the thought in D.C. is that it will be Braden Holtby, who is coming off a 28-save shutout of the Wild on Sunday. Holtby has started three of the last four games and has allowed only four goals in the process. He didn't start last Friday against Winnipeg, and the Caps blew a 3-0 lead before losing in overtime, 4-3.

"He's a battler," Hunter said of Holtby. "You see him handle the puck, I think he really helps our 'D' a lot in making decisions. It's always a risk-reward thing when goalies leave their net, but he does it very well."

Who's Hot: Ovechkin added another goal Sunday and is now up to 36 for the season. He has scored in 12 of the last 25 games, and the Capitals are 8-1-3 in those games. They are 4-8-1 in the 13 that he hasn't scored in.

Injury Report: Washington center Nicklas Backstrom is still out with a concussion, but he participated in his first full contact practice Monday. Caps goalie Tomas Vokoun has been dealing with a groin injury. … Buffalo could have Nathan Gerbe (upper body) and Patrick Kaleta (upper body) back in the lineup. Matt Ellis remains sidelined with a knee injury.

Stat Pack: Since the last meeting between these two teams (Dec. 30), Buffalo has won 20 games and has 47 points while Washington has won 20 games and has 46 points.

Puck Drop: Hunter called Tuesday's game "like the seventh game of the playoffs." Capitals winger Troy Brouwer expanded on that sentiment, according to the Washington Post:

"It's an exciting time of year, obviously a very important game and guys know this," Brouwer said. "We had a good showing (Sunday) night against Minnesota but we're playing a pretty tough team that's playing really well. We feel that this (Tuesday's game) is going to be a very big determination whether we're going to make the playoffs."
http://www.nhl.com/ice/preview.htm?i...vid=sb:preview

Huge game.

GO CAPS!!!


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Old
03-27-2012, 12:14 AM
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OK, fine. Im in the Playoff Spirit now. Let's win.







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03-27-2012, 12:17 AM
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It is certainly a critical game but there is a tomorrow after.

Should be a good game. Lets hope they show up.

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03-27-2012, 12:30 AM
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This game has OT written all over it.

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03-27-2012, 01:45 AM
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The keys to this game IMHO is scoring on Ryan Miller. Knowing Ryan Miller's weakness, if he has any. Getting traffic in front for rebounds. Getting the crazy bounces and pouncing on them He's the glue for Buffalo. Lots of shots.

With Ov hot and Chimera doing his thing I'm hoping for some more scoring from our other lines. Semin could thread the needle for this game.

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03-27-2012, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ForzaItalia View Post
This game has OT written all over it.
Absolutely not!

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03-27-2012, 02:37 AM
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Key to winning the game is scoring on miller heheh.

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03-27-2012, 02:43 AM
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03-27-2012, 06:25 AM
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Let's get this one done!

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03-27-2012, 06:31 AM
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It's possible to win this game and still miss the playoffs. It's also possible to lose it and make them. What will be telling is how they play the game. Will they be up for it? Will they come out with jump? And will they play a full 60 regardless of the score.

How will they play the next game? Cocky because they won this one? Dejected because they lost it?

The next two games determine whether they make the playoffs (at least in any sort of way that allows them a chance to advance), in my opinion.

Buckle up! This is about to get really good!

Go Caps!

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03-27-2012, 07:56 AM
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Great regular season test for the Caps tonight. No more coasting to the playoffs so let's have some "playoff" type games now to get ready for the playoffs. LOL

Caps: 5 (Ovechkin, Green, Knuble, Johansson, Laich w/ empty net)

Sabres: 2 (Ennis, Roy)

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03-27-2012, 08:22 AM
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Ovechkins Wodka
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Dale says this will be treated like a game 7.

Does he know this teams history in game 7s at home lol.

Anyways glad we are going with Holtby. I trust him the most not to give up a softy and to come up with the big save when we need it. He has that big game Moxy i saw in varly and dont see in the other 2.

So if tonight is a game 7 how much beagle do we see and how little do we see of ovechkin? Unleash the beast and double shift Ovie again.

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03-27-2012, 08:23 AM
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3/27/12 - 7PM ET Sabre Buffalos vs. Capital Americas


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03-27-2012, 08:27 AM
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Good luck to them. Big game. Buffalo is hungry.

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03-27-2012, 09:00 AM
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Blades of steel
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You guys are totally writing ward off tonight. Shultz texted him told him of a rumor that this is a game 7.

Ward with 2 goals tonight. While on crutches.

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03-27-2012, 09:01 AM
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Who makes a GDT the day before a game?

God, we're going to get blown out now. We've pissed off not only the hockey gods, but all sports gods. A Dale Earnhardt of fury will be unleashed on our goaltender of choice,

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03-27-2012, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DynamoAO View Post
Who makes a GDT the day before a game?

God, we're going to get blown out now. We've pissed off not only the hockey gods, but all sports gods. A Dale Earnhardt of fury will be unleashed on our goaltender of choice,
2 minutes after midnight is the day of the game, given the right time zone. We might be okay, just barely.

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03-27-2012, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovechkins Wodka View Post
Dale says this will be treated like a game 7.

Does he know this teams history in game 7s at home lol.
Anyways glad we are going with Holtby. I trust him the most not to give up a softy and to come up with the big save when we need it. He has that big game Moxy i saw in varly and dont see in the other 2.

So if tonight is a game 7 how much beagle do we see and how little do we see of ovechkin? Unleash the beast and double shift Ovie again.
I'm quite sure he does! : http://hunter-shot.blogspot.com/

Here is an interesting fact ...

The Caps have been in existence for something like 36 years or so.

Dale Hunter was with them for about 10 years starting in the 87-88 season. During that time the Caps won 9 playoff series.

The other 26 years the Caps have won 4.

I hope some of his Karma rubs off on the current group of players.

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03-27-2012, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by brs03 View Post
2 minutes after midnight is the day of the game, given the right time zone. We might be okay, just barely.
East coast bias.

11:02 here.

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03-27-2012, 09:18 AM
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Blades of steel
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Who the heck lives outside the eastern time zone?

You know hockey has ruined your life when your superstitions quickly turn into OCD.

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03-27-2012, 09:25 AM
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Good news for the Caps and Vlad, I will not be going to this game.


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03-27-2012, 09:28 AM
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brs03
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Quote:
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East coast bias.

11:02 here.
But the game takes place on the East Coast. So it is inarguably the day of the game.

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03-27-2012, 09:58 AM
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03-27-2012, 10:01 AM
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03-27-2012, 10:21 AM
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