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Gameday: Washington Capitals @ Atlanta Thrashers

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Atlanta Thrashers Washington Capitals
Philips Arena
TV: SportSouth HD Radio: 680 the FAN
SBNation: Game page, Japers' Rink
TSN Coverage
Johan Hedberg
Michal Neuvirth
(10-6-3 .916 2.53) (4-4-0 .899 2.89)

Let's keep this party going, shall we?
Jump for game notes.

Washington Notes

Last Five: 2-3-0
Special Teams: PP 23.1% (3rd) PK 80.1% (21st)
Year Vs ATL: 2-0-0

Happy birthday Bruce Boudreau! Hope HC John Anderson gets you a nice shiny loss tonight.

Uh oh - seems the Caps have had "travel issues".

Washington has a new captain. Here's a hint - he's big, hairy, and his name rhymes with "Blalex Blovlechkin". So how has that worked out for them? If you asked the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators, they might say "pretty well." The Caps took down the Habs 4-2 on Tuesday (ending a 3 game losing skid), and then beat the SNES Sens 5-2 on Thursday. As for Ovechkin himself, after shaking off a rough game against Montreal (his only entry on the scoresheet reads 3 SOG) he's managed three points (1g, 2a, +4, 10 SOG) against Ottawa.

Just one thing I'd like to point out: all this fanfare for Ovie getting the 'C' is coming not too long after we were debating Ovechkin's playing style and it's legality. Alex's own comments after his suspension weren't exactly contrite. Was this a factor in giving Alex the 'C'? How will this "bad-boy captain" thing go over, do you think?

It looks to be rookie Michal Neuvirth's start in goal tonight for the Caps while Semyon Varlamov is rehabbing a lower body injury.

Atlanta Notes

Last Five: 1-2-2
Special Teams: PP 20.2% (10th) PK 80.9% (17th)

Great American Hero Jim Slater has quadrupled his overall point total over the past two games, and been Atlanta's primary source of offense. As great as that is, someone else should probably start scoring soon.

Nik Antropov is "probable" out for tonight.

Overall, Thursday's game against the Rangers was a welcome improvement for the Thrashers, minus the stellar performance of NY's Chad Johnson. Despite the recent slide, the Thrashers sit only three points out of 8th in the Eastern Conference, with games in hand on Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Montreal, and the Rangers. A win tonight against an aggravated Capitals team would be a huge boost.