The second half of the season starts tonight in Boston for the Caps as they face the Bruins for the third time this season. The first two games, both in D.C., resulted in wins for Washington, most recently on January 17. But the Caps have been much better at home this season than they have been on the road. They know that to make the playoffs, they'll have to improve their record for away games, which currently stands at 11-12-2. Their record at home is the best in the Eastern Conference, at 19-3-1. Boston also has an excellent record at home: 17-3-2.
Boston is the only team in the Eastern conference with more points than Washington. Ten points separate the first and second place teams. A win for the Caps tonight would close the gap to eight. But it's not going to be easy! Tim Thomas, goaltender for the Bruins, is very hot right now. His record for this season is 20-5-4, with a .934 save percentage (Sv%) and 2.09 goals against average (GAA). Jose Theodore, who will start in net tonight for the Caps, is 17-9-1, with a .898 Sv% and 2.81 GAA. The Bruins also have many other talented players, including Center Marc Savard and Defenseman Zdeno Chara, both of whom went to the All-Stars along with Thomas.
Both teams have been plagued by injuries this season, but several players are expected to return to the lineup tonight for both teams. Fans can probably expect another low-scoring game, with each team putting on a dazzling defensive show and both goalies called upon to make quite a few saves. Caps fans will be watching for the type of spectular goalscoring they've come to expect from Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, and the rest of the Caps.
Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins will be broadcast on Versus at 7 p.m. tonight.