Caps Today and Game Notes for @ Atlanta

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Caps Today and Game Notes for @ Atlanta

Postby Bob 0119 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:03 am

Today’s Storyline

Fehr-ing well – The Capitals return to game action tonight in Atlanta five days removed from a 3-2 shootout victory over Nashville . Aside from the Olympic Break, the layoff is the longest that the Caps will have in between games this season. Right wing Eric Fehr may be looking forward to tonight’s contest more than anyone on the team. Last season, Fehr scored four of his 12 goals on the season against the Thrashers, and had a +5 rating in six contests. Fehr netted the game-winning goal on Feb. 26 in a 4-3 win against Atlanta at Verizon Center .


Star power –Alex Ovechkin has been named one of the three stars of the game in seven of Washington 's eight games this season, and has been one of the NHL's three stars of the week twice in three weeks. He leads the NHL in points (16), goals (9) and shots (61) – all three on a pace significantly higher than his career average. He has points in four straight games (4g-3a, +4), including two points in each of the last three (4g-2a, +4).


Divide and conquer –Washington, the two-time defending Southeast Division champion, plays its first divisional game of the year tonight. Last season the Capitals were 16-8-0 against divisional opponents, including a 4-2-0 mark against Atlanta .

Special circumstances –One thing all four Capitals' wins have in common: near perfect special teams. Washington has scored at least one power play goal and not allowed one in each of its four victories. The Capitals have lost all four games (0-2-2) when they have not scored a power-play goal.

Killing fields – Washington has killed off 12 straight shorthanded situations and ranks ninth in the NHL on the penalty kill (through Tuesday's games) at 84.6%. Last season the Capitals had a 80.6% penalty kill, ranked 17th in the league.

New faces, new roles –Free agent signees Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison are tied for fourth on the team with seven points through eight games. Knuble has three straight multiple-point games (1g-5a), while Morrison has assisted on three goals in the last two games. Knuble, who has averaged 27 goals per season the last four years, is on pace to surpass his career high in assists by 20, while Morrison, a 12.7% career shooter, shares the NHL lead at 37.5%.

Starting something – Washington has scored first in seven of eight games this year including each of the last five. The Capitals have outscored their opponents 11-2 in the first period.
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