Thursday, March 27, 2008

Capitals/Lightning Preview

Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning
Thursday, March 27th, 2008, 7:30 PM
St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa Bay, Florida

Last Meeting: 2/16/08, Caps win 3-2

About the Opponent

Tampa Bay Lightning: 30-38-8, 68 points, 5th in the Southeast Division, 15th in the Eastern Conference

Team Leaders
Goals: Vincent Lecavalier (40)
Assists: Martin St. Louis (56)
Points: Vincent Lecavalier (89)
Plus/Minus: Michel Ouellet (+12)
Penalty Minutes: Shane O'Brien (154)
Fights: Andre Roy (12)

Keys to the Game

Avoid mistakes. The Capitals are a far better team that Tampa Bay and one with much more to play for. They ought to significantly outplay the Lightning and the only way that won't be reflected on the scoreboard is if the Caps give the Lightning chances to get back in the game with turnovers, soft goals, bad penalties or the like.

Slow down the game. Just as an inferior basketball team can keep themselves in the game by running down the shot clock and limiting possessions, an inferior hockey team can keep themselves in the game by mucking up play in the neutral zone and avoiding trading chances at each end.

Players to Watch

Alex Ovechkin - not exactly a bold prediction but Ovechkin's had three goals, 2 assists and 20 shots in the two games since the Caps collapse in Chicago and seemed poised to will his team into the postseason.

Jeff Halpern - the former Caps captain and 20 goal scorer has rediscovered his offensive touch since being traded to Tampa, where he has put up 15 points (7+8) in 13 games with the Lightning.

No comments: