WSH Game 7 Preview: Clash of the early-season titans: Caps welcome Wings to DC

Caps are 6-0-0 to Detroit’s 5-0-0. Caps have looked very good so far, but the Wings might have just looked better. I just had to preview this.

What to watch for: -Unless the Caps and Wings meet in the Finals, a very real possibility right now, this is most likely the last time fans and Caps players alike will get to see Nick Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom play in person. Good story by Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times about what that means to their fellow Swedish players.

-Michal Neuvirth will miss another game, according to Caps Insider. Tomas Vokoun will start and his backup will be Dany Sabourin once again.

-Will the Caps be able to score goals? Detroit has only allowed a mind-boggling 7 goals in 5 games so far. Also, as Steven Hindle points out, there is not a single Capitals player in the top 30 in SOG. The Wings are allowing only 27 SOG per game. Infer what you wish.

-Matchup to watch: Detroit’s PP is heating up, going 4 for 8 in their last 2 games. Caps PK is in a 3-way tie for 15th in the League at 83.3%

-I’m interested to see Mike Knuble and Tomas Holmstrom on the ice at the same time to compare what they do. They are both “garbagemen”–they collect all the trash (and turn it into goals). Holmstrom has made a career of it–the guy is incredible. He just stands in front of the goalie, and nothing can remove him. He gets hit by shots and knocked on his ass, but no matter. He just tips the puck in.

-Detroit did play last night, beating a super-depleted Jackets team 5-2. Being on the tail end of a back to back, on the road, is never helpful.

Between the pipes: Tomas Vokoun vs. Ty Conklin. Jimmy Howard got the W last night in Columbus, so veteran backup Conklin gets the call tonight. Vokoun is 5-0-0 with a 1.96 GAA. Conklin, in his only start of the year, got the shutout vs. Colorado, stopping 29 shots.

Happy Statistic: This is Lidstrom’s 1500th NHL game. Yet another milestone for him.

Prediction: I really like the Wings this year, and am not totally sold on Caps’ ability to produce in really important games yet (this will show us). 3-2 Wings in OT.


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