Previewing Monday Night's Capitals-Devils Game

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Records: Devils 2-2-0, Capitals 2-2-1.

Where: Verizon Center. When: 7 p.m. TV: Comcast SportsNet.

Radio: WFED (820 AM, 1500 AM).

Plague of Penalties: After untimely penalties led to their undoing for the second straight game Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings, the Washington Capitals must find a way to break one of their worst habits by limiting their trips to the penalty box. "That game looked like a game played between grownups and some spoiled teenagers," Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on his blog, Ted's Take, Sunday. "When you play Detroit -- in Detroit -- you can't give them 5 power plays with stick based penalties. Everyone knows that."

Four games into the season, the Capitals have been whistled for 26 minors, the sixth most in the NHL. The indiscretions have resulted in six power-play goals against, including third-period tallies by opponents in each game of Washington's three-game losing streak. "You just take those dumb penalties and they're going to cost you in the end," Coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters after the 3-2 loss in Detroit. "You can kill the first two or three -- I knew when we got the fourth one, because it was a bad penalty, it was going to cost us."

Mike Green, who was in the box for the eventual game-winner by Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom, leads the team with six minors, while Alexander Semin, Boyd Gordon and John Erskine have three apiece. The Capitals can't afford an undisciplined performance against New Jersey either. After a slow start at home the Devils scored three power-play goals in wins at Tampa Bay and Florida. All-star goaltender Martin Brodeur has stopped 60 of the past 65 shots he has faced, and leading scorer Travis Zajac has two goals and four points in his past two games.

-- Katie Carrera


© 2009 The Washington Post Company

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