Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 2/25/12
The Morning After:
Yesterday’s results:
Canucks 2, Devils 1
Islanders 4, Rangers 3 (SO)
Capitals 4, Canadiens 1
Avalanche 5, Blue Jackets 0
Sabres 2, Bruins 1 (SO)
Stars 4, Wild 1

RLD 3 stars of the night:
1. David Jones, COL (2 goals, 1 assist)
2. P.A. Parenteau, NYI (2 goals)
3. Cory Schneider, VAN (30 saves)
---

Tonight’s slate:
Lightning @ Penguins, 1:00 ET
Blues @ Jets, 2:00
Coyotes @ Oilers, 4:00
Capitals @ Maple Leafs, 7:00
Bruins @ Senators, 7:00
Sabres @ Rangers, 7:00
Panthers @ Hurricanes, 7:00
Avalanche @ Red Wings, 7:00
Blackhawks @ Kings, 8:00
Sharks @ Predators, 8:00
Flyers @ Flames, 10:00

Game of the night:
Washington Capitals @ Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00 ET… TV: CBC, NHL Net. (US), Local Networks

Records:
Overall: Capitals (30-26-5) … Maple Leafs (29-25-7)
Away/Home: Capitals (10-18-3) … Maple Leafs (16-10-5)
Last 10: Capitals (3-6-1) … Maple Leafs (3-6-1)
Season Series: Tied 1-1

Starting goaltenders:
WSH- Michal Neuvirth (2011-12 stats: 7-9-3, 2.91 GAA)
TOR- James Reimer (2011-12 stats: 11-9-4, 2.95 GAA)

Injury report:
WSH- Nicklas Backstrom (head, out), Tom Poti (groin, out)
TOR- None

Three things to watch:
1. Battle for 8th place in East
Both Washington and Toronto have 21 games remaining and are tied with 65 points on the outside of the top eight in the Eastern Conference. With both teams playing inconsistently since the All-Star break, look for them to be desperate in tonight’s big game. Every point is crucial, and a regulation win for either side would be huge tonight.
2. Caps’ road struggles
Dale Hunter’s club has struggled all year on the road, but they have had some especially puzzling losses lately – including blowout defeats in Ottawa and Carolina earlier this week. Surprisingly, they became the first team to win 20 games at home with a 4-1 win over Montreal last night. But their abysmal road record must improve down the stretch.
3. James Reimer’s struggles
Following back-to-back shutouts at the start of February, Reimer’s game has fallen off. In his last five starts, Reimer has one win, a 4.10 GAA and .868 save percentage. Put simply, the Leafs need him to be better and emerge as their starter in these final weeks. And that needs to start tonight.

Final thought: This game definitely has a lot of intrigue. The Leafs have won just once in their last eight games, the Caps have won twice in that same span, and both teams are under pressure to make the playoffs. Go with Toronto at home tonight. Prediction: Maple Leafs 4, Capitals 3 (OT)

The rest of today’s predictions:
Penguins over Lightning
Blues over Jets
Coyotes over Oilers
Bruins over Senators
Rangers over Sabres
Hurricanes over Panthers
Avalanche over Red Wings
Kings over Blackhawks
Predators over Sharks
Flyers over Flames
---

Five must-read links:
- Mayor’s Manor: One-on-one with LA captain Dustin Brown, talking trade rumors
- NHL.com: Sizing up NHL's 'Most Wanted' heading into deadline
- Edmonton Journal: Oilers sign Hemsky for the right amount on a two-year term
- In Lou We Trust: New Jersey Devils Acquire Marek Zidlicky
- CBS Eye on Hockey: How Avs logo came to be and name Extreme avoided
---

Video of the day:


*Follow us on Twitter – @RLDhockey
*Did you miss Wednesday’s podcast with Spector’s Hockey’s Lyle Richardson? No worries… you can check it out here!
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