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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Thrashers (Updated)

Semyon Varlamov will start in goal tonight against the Ilya Kovalchuk-less Thrashers at Philips Arena. Ondrej Pavelec will get the nod in Atlanta's net.

Varlamov will be looking to improve to 5-0-0 (as well as raise his .884 save percentage), while the Caps will be seeking to win six in a row for the first time since the middle of last season.

The rest of the lineup should look like this:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin
Laich-Morrison-Knuble
Fleischmann-Aucoin-Clark
Sloan-Steckel-Bradley
Scratches: Laing (H1N1), Fehr (ribs)

Defense
Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Jurcina
Schultz-Pothier
Scratches: Erskine (bruised hand)

Goalies
Varlamov
Theodore

Update:Nik Antropov (groin) is on the ice for warmups. So it looks like he's a go for ATL.

Check back for more after the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 29, 2009; 6:17 PM ET
 
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Next: Caps 4, Thrashers 3

Comments

Is it weird to anyone else to see (H1N1) as a reason for a scratch?

Posted by: Raber | October 29, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I like that third line. I think between Aucoin and Flash we'll see some electricity on that line, and hopefully a goal or two.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 29, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Remember, red wine for home game and white wine for away.

ROCK THE WHITE!

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 29, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Why did I have to sign up for my imoportant class on thursday nights...sigh here's to hoping tonight is a good one.

Posted by: superpaqman | October 29, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

class night too and on Tuesdays -- this is killing me

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | October 29, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I dont know about anyone else but this streak so early in the season makes all these games a bit more exciting for me. We aren't even close to hitting our stride yet and we are finding ways to win, and that is a GOOD thing. No matter what BS we chat about on this board. WINNING breeds confidence, and MATURITY minimizes OVER-confidence. GROW Caps and.....

GOOOOOOOOOOO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Things tonight's game has in common with last Thurday's game. (Today is Thursday -- it must be Atlanta.)

1) We're playing Atlanta -- in Atlanta

2) Varly in goal

3) Boyd Gordon and John Erskine are out with injuries

4) We have a forward (LW) who was too sick to make the trip. (Last week, it was Semin. This week, it's Laing.)

Things we know won't happen this week: Fehr and Giroux won't score goals. Fehr is hurt. (Once again, life's not fehr.) Giroux has been sent to Hershey.

Hope the result is the same for the Caps -- the W column getting incremented by 1.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 29, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Hi Tarik,

I hope you're enjoying a quick repeat visit to the ATL.

I have two off-beat questions for you: 1. How's everyone feeling today?; 2. Has the ice improved since last Thursday?

Have fun and don't shake anyone's hand! :-)

Regards,

Posted by: Terptwin | October 29, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Just read this but man it feels good to be able to say :

" Caps will be seeking to win six in a row for the first time since the middle of last season"

instead of having to replace last season with X amount of years ago. Ok now time to be a good student and go to class...

Posted by: superpaqman | October 29, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

JIMALLCAPS, yea I'm with you, seems like they scheduled the bulk of their games on school nights.

Posted by: superpaqman | October 29, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have a good link so I can watch online? LET'S GO CAPS!

Posted by: mrszilla | October 29, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Big save early for Varly. Noticed Ovie filling in on D there when that errant pass led to a 3 on 2 the other way.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | October 29, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

is he....human?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

...forgive me....

are THEY human?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Watching the game on CSN.... Where are the fans? Lotsa good seats are empty and the crowd is quiet. Hey Atlantans, you're missing your chance to see the best player in the world score (at least) two goals on you.

Posted by: kjw052 | October 29, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

funny i said it earlier on a different page, but Ovi's 6th multi-goal games makes a new record for October overcoming Brett Hull's former record(I beleive the year Hull set that record was the year he went 50 in 50)

Posted by: breaklance | October 29, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:

You forgot - tominfl1 drinking white wine for road game! 2008 Santa Alicia Sauvignon Blanc! 8 bucks! And two goals!

Hey, I think Knuble mighta, just mighta, tipped that first one. They didn't show the replay close enough. I am watching in HD on NHL Network, but I have Joe B and Locker.

Yes, it is really nice to be 7-2-2 when they didn't play that great over a five game or so stretch.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 29, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot:

ROCK THE WHITE!

(but it'll be rockin' the red this weekend)

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 29, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Nice pass by Ovie to Bmo and it is now 3-0

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 29, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

good TO by BB...we look like we think this game is already over!!!

THAT IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER!!!

FOCUS!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I was going to say the samething. Three goals is not enough for us to take the rest of the game off. Let's hope BB lit a fire under the boys during that timeout.

Posted by: Terptwin | October 29, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, I wonder if fatigue is beginning to show for the Caps. They did battle hard on Tuesday night. Let's see how they respond to being a man down on a clean sheet.

Posted by: Terptwin | October 29, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Yes, can's forget Tom hoisting the white wine with dinner.

Odd thing. A restaurant in Herndon, called Fresh Words, actually talked about rocking the red with a red wine. (Forgot the name of the wine, unfortunately.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 29, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

@Terptwin

The only good news on starting a man down at the beginning of the period is that the faceoff is still center ice rather than in the defensive zone. (Of course, winning the faceoff would be very helpful.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 29, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I was listening to the XM feed, which has the Thrasher's play by play man. This guy's voice makes Laughlin sound like Charlton Heston...

Posted by: TimDz | October 29, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow, nice attendance. Even at their worst the caps never had such a pathetic showing barring snowstorm. Atlanta is a horrible sports town.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 29, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

True story. A player down, I would rather take the face-off from center ice with fresh legs.

Posted by: Terptwin | October 29, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

@TimDz

Ah, you're talking about Dan Kamal who does the play-by-play on 680 the Fan. I catch him on occasion down here in the ATL. Dan's a good, knowledgeable hockey guy. Unfortunately, I have a tough time listening to him. Too many ups and downs. (Poor reception too.)

Posted by: Terptwin | October 29, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Bogosian makes it, 3-1. Caps need to get one back here!

Posted by: Terptwin | October 29, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

ok Caps...here they come

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

BB needs ANOTHER TO!!!!

CLOSE THE D**N GAME OUT!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

@ Terptwin:

I definately got the hockey acuman of Kamal, on that you are spot on. That voice made my ears bleed...I can say the same about Locker on both accounts...

Posted by: TimDz | October 29, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

@Terptwin and TimDz:

Dan Kamal: Hershey Bears radio guy who left Chocolatetown to take the Atlanta job. He was replaced by Dave Mishkin, who left after a few years to become radio guy in Tampa Bay. Mishkin was replaced in Hershey by the current guy John Walton.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 29, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that we had a better looking PP with the grinders out there.

Back to the PP drawing board.
Back to the 60 min of full effort drawing board.

Give 'em HELL BB til they get it right!!!

WE NEED 60 MINUTES OF HELL!!!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Varly's getting it done. Guess he wants a job, too.

Posted by: large23220 | October 29, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

pisses me off

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Varly does not deserve this crap

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

tess: Obviously, you've taken the advanced Hockey course...

Posted by: TimDz | October 29, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

sloppy win

streak is alive

should be happy right?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov was outstanding tonight. We still don't know how to play with leads and put teams away.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 29, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

TimDz: I became a Bears season ticket holder in the 1980's when Kamal was there. You're right...he's got terrific hockey knowledge, but extremely hyper.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 29, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Laich with 3 silent assists

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps are going to play passively in games where they are leading late, they have to make sure they don't give up breakaways and odd man rushes. The whole point of playing passively is to make sure you don't give up numbers the other way.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 29, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Lousy third period. I'll chalk that up to carelessness and fatigue. Nevertheless, it's great to get another early season win.

Obviously this type of 40 mihute effort won't cut it during the playoffs. Keep them motivated BB!

Posted by: Terptwin | October 29, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have always seemed to be a second half team. The problem in the past was the fact that the Cap's first 20 or so games have sucked WSA...

If they can struggle through the first 20 games and STILL have a nice record (lets say: 14-4-2 for 30 points), I think BB can tweak the problem spots-like PLAYING 60 MINUTES (sorry, did I yell that?)-and this team could go far in May/June...

Posted by: TimDz | October 29, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow, we still can't play a full 60 minutes. Once they're up, they want to keep scoring but they need to tighten up the defense when they're up. Atlanta's highest shot total was 28 this year. I think they had 40+ tonight. If Knuble didn't get the empty netter we'd be going into OT. Need to play a full game. We only played 40 minutes tonight.

Posted by: rachel216 | October 29, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Gabby needs to make them play the trap in the 3rd period.

And I'm not even joking.

Posted by: large23220 | October 29, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Look, they were up 3 0, they have a game tomorrow night, in my book, it is good they didn't give it there all in the 3rd and they still survived. Maybe they will have more in the tank for tomorrow now.

Posted by: amorris525 | October 29, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I mentioned it earlier...Caps should hire Dean Smith so they can implement the 4 Corners.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 29, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

@large23220

At least Boudreau should make them play the trap when they have the lead in the third period.

Hint: watch tapes of NJ Devils. (Only problem with that -- the Devils were the very team that blew a lead in the 7th game of the playoffs in Round 1 against Carolina.)

Okay: any better ideas of teams who do the trap well?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 29, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Man, I just love BB, he GETS IT!

W..T..F

Is up with his players?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

So, on Varly. The good news is ... he improved his save percentage.

The bad news is ..... what on Earth happened to the defense in period 3?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 29, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Everything was going so great until the third period. I could see it coming when they couldn't even hold on to the puck during their first power play in this last period. They were like a different team. What happens to these boys the last 15 minutes? So disappointing.

But the good news is that we barely got two penalties; Varly & Theo are proving themselves to be outstanding and, of course, that we got two points.

Posted by: caraveli | October 29, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I mentioned it earlier...Caps should hire Dean Smith so they can implement the 4 Corners.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 29, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

How about Nolan Richardson?

At least we could get 40 minutes of HELL!?!?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@amorris525 - AMEN. I totally agree on that point. They won. They're on the first game of a back-to-back with a flight in between. Sleep's gonna be short tonight, especially if Bou practices them in the morning. I like the win. :-)

Glad we got that empty netter, though. PHEW!

Posted by: irockthered | October 29, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I thought Flash did very well out there tonight, too. Couple of EXCELLENT scoring chances stolen away by beast goaltending on Pavelec's part.

Posted by: irockthered | October 29, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

@wtf_e_fehr

Let's put the grinders out there on the PP. (Well at least our "normal" 2nd line cast of characters scored today on a PP today.) Yes gang, all three members of our KLM line (Knuble, Laich, Morrison) were on the ice for Goal #3.

And people were starting to call them a 3rd checking line. They should be a scoring line. And they did score at even strength in our 1st 3 games.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 29, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

Michael Knuble took care of business by getting the empty netter.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 29, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
I know some will disagree but a solid 4-2 win. Overall - the defense again was inexcusable in the third period but credit Atlanta for ramping up the pressure and HUGE PROPS to Varlamov for standing tall.

Chris Clark I don't believe was on the score sheet but had a nice game tonight.

Ovie - continues to keep going his thing.

40 minutes was dynamite but the team D cracked in the third. Too many guys were getting loose in that high slot. Again that needs to be address. I hope Coach Woods recognizes that but it's about this team needing to continue to stay disciplined.

These guys were so pissed after seeing the Pens hoist the Cup - if they want that same feeling then they need to realize what it takes to win. 60 minutes of solid hockey. Either way - it's another two point night.

Back to the phone booth as the Isles await.

ICE BREAKERS GOAL SHAKERS!!!!!

Posted by: Jonathan6 | October 29, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@Jonathan6

The final score was 4-3. Atlanta scored a goal at the last second, literally. It hardly mattered.

What happened to the D in Period 3.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 29, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

they can't be giving up shorthanded breakaways every game... that's just NOT acceptible. They've already given up more shorthanded breakaways so far this season than most elite teams in this league give up in the entire year.

I know they're on a 6-game winning streak so they're going a lot of things right but they'd better think about bringing up either Alzner or Carlson and have 2 d-men playing the point instead of having 4 forwards on the PPs. I've never been a fan of forwards playing the point precisely because of this reason.

Posted by: joek443 | October 29, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75 - My bad on the final. As the telecast went off Joe B said that last goal didn't stand but haha we all stand corrected. Still - a good win but again the D has to pick it up.

Agree with joek443 - I'd love to see Alzner or Carlson come up. McPhee can't continue to sit here and watch games get all loosey goosey on the PP.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | October 29, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Alan May just made a good observation. He says that Joe Thornton and Backs are the best passers in the league. I agree, and the numbers back this up.

Ladies and gentlemen, Joe Thornton is 30 years old....

Nicky Backs will turn 22 in November.

wow

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 29, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the game - the Caps played in the ATL twice in 8 days and now I have to wait until March to see 'em again!

Ovie: 50 in 50! It's gonna happen.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | October 29, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

Last year the Wild won 40 games and were only 4 points out of the playoffs running the trap, and all they had for offense was 3 (barely) 20-goal scorers.

It was invented by the Habs in the 70s for exactly the purpose we should use it: closing out wins late in the game.

Brads, Stecks, Laing, Fehr, Knuble, Clark, all these guys would make great full-time forecheckers. Why not do it?

Man would we kill teams if we could just end the game after 40 minutes. We could win 60 games easy.

Posted by: large23220 | October 29, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

PS1
The Wild abandoned the trap for this season and that's why they suck.

PS2
If we developed this dual-identity of a fast & loose offensive team with a third period trap, we'd be pretty fun to watch. No more cardiac crap. Just confidence. The league would be very scared of us.

Posted by: large23220 | October 29, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else outside of the DC area have the game blacked out on both CSN and NHL Network?
I'm so pissed. DVRed the game while I was at work and now DirectTv is trying to tell me it had been blacked out by the NHL.
Any thoughts before I unload some rage on DirectTv?
DirectTv sucks....

Go CAPS!!!

Posted by: chucktownCAPSfan | October 29, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Is it time to move Flash to the top line yet?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 29, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I sure would have liked to see an Ovie hat trick tonight. I had a sneaky suspicion that the team was more focused on that too instead of taking care of business at the end. Very sloppy play third period, but a two point game in the Caps' favor nonetheless.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 29, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

I don't know what the Caps' problem was. They themselves made lots of shots that missed.

(The Semin haters are back out -- not as posters on this blog but as writers on other blogs.)

With Nylander basically gone, for all practical purposes, the two most hated guys in Cap Land are Semin and Schultz. Okay, they make their share of mistakes, I must admit, but they get blamed more for anything they do than anyone else.

I certainly don't see the hate as much for Poti, Pothier, Boyd Gordon, or anyone else when they screw up.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 29, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: I couldn't agree with you more. People are incredibly and unfairly hard on Semin and Schultz. I hope they don't listen to all the haters.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 30, 2009 5:06 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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