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Tonight's Lineup

Coach Bruce Boudreau just met with the media and said the lineup will not change from this morning's pre-game skate. Jose Theodore will start in net and face Atlanta prospect Ondrej Pavelec, who beat the Capitals, 2-1, in overtime last season, stopping 31 of 32 shots.

Here are the Caps' forward lines:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Fleischmann-Nylander-Fehr
Bourque-Laich-Bradley
Brashear-Steckel-Mink

The 'D' pairings:

Sloan-Poti
Alzner-Jurcina
Lepisto-Morrisonn

The big storylines tonight are the seven Caps' regulars who are out as well as the debut of Karl Alzner.

Check back later tonight for some post-game notes and quotes.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 26, 2008; 5:25 PM ET
 
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Next: Caps Thrash Atlanta, 5-3

Comments

Well, sports fans, we might need to manage our expectations a bit tonight. A healthy Thrashers squad is coming off a strong performance against Toronto last night.

Will fatigue come into play for the birds? This will be their 3rd game in 4 nights.

In any event, I hope that our baby Caps get some good experience tonight. I'm fascinated by how they'll match up on D with their senior linemates.

I also hope that our injured Caps take the time to rest and heal properly. We'll need them down the stretch!

Posted by: Terptwin | November 26, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Hi Tarik,

Thanks again for keeping us up-to-date on the team's injury situation today!

I look forward to seeing how the rookies fare tonight. Please let us know who among them stands out.

Otherwise, can you remember a time when the Caps injury situation was more dire? In recent memory, I seem to recall the '92-'93 (Pat Peake, Joey Juneau, & co) and '98-'99 (Peter Bondra) seasons as being particularly trying. What do you come up with?

Posted by: Terptwin | November 26, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

@Terptwin - I remember 96-97 being a bad season for injuries.

Posted by: The_Spear | November 26, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Well I'll be enjoying the game on TV with the rest of you this evening. My coworker took my tickets for tonight, my back's been killing me the past few days. I'm listed as day-to-day and should be good to go by Friday. ;)

I expect a strong showing from the Caps tonight; I'm so excited that they're back home in front of a supportive crowd. I hope they are excited too, and bring us a big win to get things back on track.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

@GregAnnapolis

I hope you and Semin get well in time for this weekend. We'll need you both back in the lineup!

Posted by: Terptwin | November 26, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The broadcast is up in HD on CSN-HD, as expected. Joe B and Locker on the call.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Nice, I'm liking the start so far. Let's go Caps!

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

OVECHKIN!!

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

any online streaming links tonight?

Posted by: ph0082 | November 26, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm in Kansas City for Thanksgiving, help! I can't get Center Ice; is this online anywhere?

Posted by: kittypawz | November 26, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

TSN in Canada is reporting that Semin may be in the line up tonight??? Whats up ??? Is he ?

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | November 26, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

A little bird was singing a song, and it tweeted "http://www.atdhe.net/live-tv-836.html" but I just don't know what that means. Silly birds.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

FEHR!!!!

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Alzner screwed that one up royally. He stinks

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 26, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Is there a more unimpressive defensive 1st rounder rook around than KA? He's a liability in his own end.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 26, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

OVECHKIN!!!!!

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

greg, tell the birdie thanks. pretty awesome.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 26, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

*shrug* It was just some robin in my front yard. Damn thing crapped on my car, too. Glad that message was useful to someone, I'm just sitting here watching the game on my HDTV.

At least we got another PP. :)

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Hell YEAH what a game so far.

First good impressions of Alzner too... and Fehr getting better and better :D

LETS GO CAPS!!

Posted by: mauree | November 26, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, except for not getting another shot off in the last three seconds of the period, I think I like the first period. Thoughts?

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

First good impressions of Alzner too... and Fehr getting better and better :D

LETS GO CAPS!!

Posted by: mauree | November 26, 2008 7:43 PM

Really? Did you watch him on the penalty kill? He blew 2 chances to clear the puck then got pushed down in front of the net. Eventually led to the Atl goal. He looked lost and shy. Very unsure of himself.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 26, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

ph0082 and kittypawz:

http://atdhe.net/

You can get the link there. I was at the game on monday in St. Paul and am back in KC tonight. Wish I was at the game. At least I didn't have to buy center ice for 160 bucks to watch 2 games. Stream is comcast too so you get Joe B and Locker.

Posted by: joshipants | November 26, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I luv what I'm seeing.
the kids are allright.

Posted by: oo7 | November 26, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

First of all, BB decision to put him on the PK it's questionable to say the least. Or maybe it says a lot about the desperation regarding our D.

Second, he doesn't have particular faults on the goals.

Third, I'm not expecting much of him being the first game... you're thrown in a "desperate" situation.

What I was talking about is his movement w/o the puck when the other team is on a rush. The guy is fast and has a good sense of position.

You're welcome to disagree :D

Posted by: mauree | November 26, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

First Period props and comments:

4th line - drew two penalties. Mink looked good.

Flash-Nyles-Fehr - That was a WORLD CLASS tic-tac-toe. Flash and Fehr will be top players for many, many years. I don't mean "Ovechkin-type" top players, but very solid, top 2 lines on perennial Cup contender players.

Ovechkin - he took charge and made it happen.

Laich - great keep in that resulted in a PP.

Alzner - he left his position on the PK and went to the far corner and got out of position and ... Atl scored.

Theo - some nice stops, maybe no chance on the goal.

All in all ...excellent start for the chocolate Caps.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

OVECHKIN HAT TRICK!!!!!!!

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

HAT TRICK!!!!!

Posted by: doncosmic | November 26, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

hehe he's not done yet :D Ovie that is...

Posted by: mauree | November 26, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

We're three for three on Ovie scoring when I miss the first period.

But i did get to see #3 in real-time!

Posted by: austinsteve | November 26, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

CAESE = Tosses his hat

Posted by: caese | November 26, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Does it count if I throw an hat in my living room?

Posted by: mauree | November 26, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I like the new mask. We just got a good close up.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

mauree: I tossed the hat in the living and yelled, "I did it first!"

Great set-up by Poti.

Nylander and Fehr together is working very well.

It's a million times easier to look good defensively when your offense is controlling the flow. I imagine George Patton would like our effort tonight.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

My opinion:

Fehr: a Rick Tocchet type of player.

Laich: think Mike Ridley.

Flash: maybe, just maybe...Peter Bondra.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Flash is the best surprise of the season so far. Good to see Fehr pot one as well. Defense is still a problem, very poor coverage in close.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 26, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Grading the Callups (Thanks Hershey!)so far

Bourque and Sami are performing well

KA and Mink are not. Mink is invisible

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 26, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

It's a million times easier to look good defensively when your offense is controlling the flow.

Agree. My point is, he doesn't look like a giant pole. By looking at him skating, moving on the ice, I get good vibes.

Posted by: mauree | November 26, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton, invisible? he's leading the team in SOG so far in the game

Posted by: doncosmic | November 26, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say Mink was invisible?

Maybe the same person who said George Bush was a good President?

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Theo is having a horrid game...not sure why we think he's doing alright. At this level, you should not be giving up rebounds. The second goal literally rolled out of his glove. If he isn't going to suck up the puck he at least needs to kick out the rebounds - right now they are sitting right in front of the net.

D is doing alright...I'd honestly say that each one of the call ups is playing better than Clarke. Unleash the Hershey!

What do you all think?

Posted by: patrone | November 26, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Our boys better not relax.

LETS GO CAPS!!

Posted by: mauree | November 26, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

KOZLOV!!

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

and as soon as I post...he gobbles up a hard slapper from the top of the circle...nice save.

Koz puts this game away!

Posted by: patrone | November 26, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Kozzie!!!!

Posted by: mauree | November 26, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

nice play/breakout kozlov n ovie!!

Posted by: austinsteve | November 26, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

all right!!

Posted by: mauree | November 26, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I love the crowd at the phone booth. Damn I hope I'm ready to go on Friday, along with Semin too!

Carolina trails with 4 minutes left in regulation. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Watched bits and pieces of the game at a bar. Caught the last 7 minutes at home. Gratz on Ovie with the hat,

Theodore's new mask looks great. Much better than the one he was wearing.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | November 26, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

The Flyers defeat Carolina, 3-1. The Caps are now 3 points up with a game in hand.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

lol @ the name "FusilliJerry" - legendary Seinfield hehe...

Posted by: mauree | November 26, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm told the three stars in DC were:

3rd star: Flash
2nd star: Kozzy
1st star: Ovie

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

And if all the games end as they are right now, the entire Southeast Division will have lost (except of course the Caps). That's pretty huge if it winds up that way.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Mo Had his best game of the year. All of the Chocolate Chips did well. It must be very difficult to keep your emotions under control when being called up. Agree with the remarks about Flash & Fehr. Overall, I thought that Alzner played better then Lepisto. Much better positioning.

Posted by: sidehillman | November 26, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse


Mink looked like what we've been missing from Clark.

CB looked like a NHL player.

Alzner looked young, but not overwhelmed. He's already better than Erskine.

Sami might turn out to be a lifelong AHLer. He looked overmatched most of the time......

Posted by: JustAnObservation | November 26, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Solid game against a tired team; now bring in the Habs.

KA is poised and never panics; great stick and positioning too. He will be fun to watch against a much better team on Friday.

Posted by: meagle | November 26, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@ mauree,

It was the first name that came to mind when I had to change form my usual moniker on here, nadir. it was FusilliJerry or ArtVandelay. I use the latter on my PS3 for games.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | November 26, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Pretty dominant game by Caps. The PP units have been clicking. It has scored in the last 8 games. Hope they keep it up. The PK, on the other hand, has been subpar. The defense is clearly the weakest part in this Caps team. 2 of Atlanta's goals were due to the defense not being able to clear the puck. That said, it was better tonight, than in the previous games.

Karl Alzner had a pretty solid game. Didn't make any glaring mistakes whatsoever. But it was pretty clear that he was nervous. A lot of times I saw him pass up the puck, like he was scared to carry it. I liked Sami Lepisto the most, out of the four. He started off things quickly, getting the assist on Ovechkn's first goal.

Graham Mink is that gritty type player, who isn't afraid to go in the corners and get the puck. Chris Bourque made a few good plays, but for most of the game, he really didn't catch my eye. I mean that's good in the sense that he didn't make any glaring mistakes, but I didn't see anything special. At least not yet.

Theodore was rock solid. Unfortunate the play of the defense has his numbers lower than it should be, but as long as he plays like how he has been in these last few games, the goaltending tandem should be good to go for the Caps.

Viktor Kozlov has been impressing me tons lately. He has made some unbelievable passes, and it was nice to see me score tonight. Speaking of his goal, it was a thing of beauty. Picked his spot, and just shot the puck.

Speaking of players who has been impressing me, two others are Tomas Fleischmann and Eric Fehr. Those two are really coming into their own this season. Fleischmann has more confidence.. He's shooting the puck on all cylinders, and so far, he is on pace to notch 31 goals. Now that Fehr is getting the ice time, he's showing the coaches what he can do for this team. He's turning into a player Caps can start to count on.

I think Nylander has his stick handling back. I liked what I saw from him tonight. He looks like he wants the puck. To me, he seems like he has the fire inside him again. That desire to play.

What else can anyone say about Ovechkin? 4-point game for him, and he notches his 6th career hattrick, and his first of the season

It's nice to know that even when they lose 8 starting players, they can count on their farm team to recall players who can come in, and play a solid game. Caps have a lot of depth in their system, and I'm very excited to see the players who will come up in the future.

Posted by: elicea | November 26, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Washington wins. Atlanta and Carolina lose in regulation. Florida loses in OT, and Tampa loses in SO.

I like.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 26, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

See, expect nothing and receive pleasant surprises.


Posted by: oo7 | November 26, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

007 - that could be bad, actually. What are your expectations for the Habs on Friday? I bet they're a bit more than they were at puck-drop tonight. Could that be a bad thing? You bet.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 26, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

So we finally brought some fresh blood to the team, and look at the results. Here is the deal, Lepisto is a question mark as guys were motoring around him all game, and Mink is ok, he is big and battles, Borque is small but plays hard but not everyday NHL material, the prize is obviously Alzner, he needs to stick around and play. I see Clarke left the bench, did we finally trade him? Nylander is playing better but he still overskates with the puck. The penalty kill is terrible and Theodore is leaving fat juicy rebounds after every shot. This will not win you a Stanley Cup. At least we stopped the first shot tonight.But much improvement is needed, as tonight we did not take the body when we should have. Matt Bradley and Brooks Laich are giving 100 oercent. Laich is should be the captain as he was the spokesman down the stretch last year. Good to see a A on Bradley's jersey as he is a leader. Ovie shows that he is the best player on the ice as usual, he will soon be leading the league is goals and points and barring any injuries, he should get another MVP award. He is that good.

Posted by: ergoroc | November 26, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

yeah, and the Habs aren't a fluxing team, like Atlanta. I'm gonna keep not getting my hopes up. Seems to be working.

Posted by: oo7 | November 26, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the game. What a treat this was. Great crowd as usual. I am 7-0 attending live games this year. Funny I missed NJ game.

ALZNER is going to be a STUD in the league. He is only 20 years old. Great positioning, plays the body extremelly well, very good skater, obviously for his first game he wasnt as agressive handling the puck as he could be but thats understandable. But as the game went on, everytime he was out there he brought calmness to the ice. As he gets seasoning he will be a solid TOP 4 D for years to come.

SAMI, reminds me alot of Zubov the way he skates and handles the puck. Its scarry to think that we will have GREEN, LEPISTO and ALZNER as our mainstays for years to come.


Bourque will be a player in this league. Obviously he brings speed, but the thing i love the most about him is he is not afraid to throw his little body at the 6'4 + D. Guy has a lot of heart.

Need to see MINK play more he didnt get as much ice time as the other 3.

Overall, speaks volume for how far we have come as an organization to be able to replace 7 of our NHLers with young blood and not miss a bid. Throughout a whole game there was a sense of energy and enthuasim from this team. Obviously having a 2-0 lead relaxed everyone.

CANT WAIT till friday. See my cousin Lesha #27 play. Will have to root when his on ice only to make some good plays but not score any goals.

Dosvedania

Posted by: lightshow | November 26, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Let's not make the locker room nametags permanent yet, they did play a team who lost their last three before winning on the road last night and is still tied for last in the Division.

As for the crowd, loud, but...doing waves? I threw up in my mouth a little.

Posted by: Section117 | November 26, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I blame the crowd's constant waving on the fact that a lot of know-nothing college kids and regular kids were there (I'm a know-somestuff college kid, so don't bash).

What an awesome game. Sami needs to stay on this team forever. Everybody was solid, it was great. And to everybody that doesn't see Kozlov's value, I saw watch this game and shoosh!

Posted by: _jordan | November 26, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I SAY watching this game, too!

Posted by: _jordan | November 26, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I really liked what I could see on TV tonight. Wish I could see the games in person. You miss so much when you're not there.

We didn't get too much of a look-see at Mink, but what I did see he was in the right places at the right times.

Bourque also looked like he was doing OK, again, not too much of a look at him.

Alzner and Lepisto looked fine as well as did Sloan. Speaking of whom, Sloan may stay up for quite awhile. I like how he keeps house.

The Nylander, Flash, Fehr goal was sweet! Kozlov's break-away as well.

OV was his usual exceptional self. Do you ever feel like you have to pinch yourself watching him play for the Caps?

OK, so they looked great, but this WAS Atlanta. Let's see how they do on Friday against Montreal. Hope they all have a good practice tomorrow and get a good feel for where the other players are going to be at any given moment.

Still, looking good!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 26, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I blame the crowd's constant waving on the fact that a lot of know-nothing college kids and regular kids were there (I'm a know-somestuff college kid, so don't bash).

Posted by: _jordan | November 26, 2008 11:08 PM
-------------------------------------------
You speak their language, so do something about it.

Posted by: Section117 | November 26, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

One great thing about this game is that OV's performance may actually push Semin to come back. Semin would hate to see OV overtake his goal scoring lead. If we starting winning, Semin would become less relevant -- and he definitely doesn't want that.


Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | November 26, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and by the way, Erskine, PLEASE don't come back. Just take your time to recover, NO RUSH...

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | November 26, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Laich-Fedorov-Semin
Fleischmann-Nylander-Fehr
Brashear/Gordon-Steckel-Bradley

can't wait til i see that line up on the ice. I really think we saw Mo's best game by far this year. Lepisto i've never thought much of defensively, but atleast you can trust the puck on his stick. Sloan is getting better, but i swear poti is making him look real good sometimes. Alzner, decent, tentative as hell in his first game, but he's got atleast 9 more i think to show what he's got (does Juice or Lepisto sit when/if Green gets back?).
I'd like to see how Alzner handles some adversity (we may well find out Friday) as well as how comfortable he looks when he adjusts to NHL speed.

Posted by: brooklyncapsfan | November 26, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

brooklyncapsfan

Linemates are supposed to cover for you when things go south. That's been one of the major problems with the Defense this and last season - it just didn't happen as much as it should have. Last year, Mo covered for Green. This year it didn't work out and Green's been left hanging out to dry.

So yeah, Poti does make Sloan look good, but he was looking pretty good on other defensive pairings. And when Green went down, Poti was the only viable offensive defenseman we had. It says a lot to put a rookie on the first defensive line up against the best the other team has to offer.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 26, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Danny boy, do you really believe what you're writing? Take a look at Fedorov, how did him coming back before he was maybe 100% help the team? And now you want the same for Semin? Personally I hope if he's not 100% that he sits until he is for sure good to go.

Posted by: Steve_R | November 26, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Steve! So what's your take on the game?

Posted by: Greg S. | November 26, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Just got home from the Bears 4-1 win over the Binghamton Senators. The top line of Osala, Bouchard, and Perrault was dominant. Osala had two goals. Aucoin was also very good. Varmalov pitched a shut-out in the second when the Bears were just getting spanked. The junior Sens controlled the second, shooting 9 shots on and Varmalov was awesome. Godfrey played awesome positional defense and had some great end to end rushes. The Caps have a lot of great prospects in the system.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 26, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Jim:
That's funny - I just got home from the Bears 5-3 win! ;-) Boy, they sure unleashed the Hershey tonight, huh?!? I'd be a little nervous if I was an injured vet ...

Steve:
I agree - Semin tried to come back too soon last season and just prolonged his injury.

Posted by: Boo- | November 26, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

@ergoroc - Re: Clark: LTIR for a stress fracture. See earlier posts.

Posted by: irockthered | November 26, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

@ Boo! Unleash the Hershey -- good stuff.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 27, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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