Capitals Vs. Thrashers: Caps Suffer Seventh Shutout Loss Of The Season In 1-0 Setback To Thrashers

The Capitals will head into the All-Star Break with two straight losses and will not have a chance to snap that streak until Tuesday.

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Capitals Vs. Thrashers: Even In Atlanta, Caps Suffer Power Outage, Lose 1-0 In Seventh Shutout Of Season

With their hometown covered in snow, the Washington Capitals thought they would avoid any power outages by traveling to Atlanta Wednesday to take on the Thrashers. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

In their last game before this weekend's All-Star Break, the Caps lost 1-0 to the Thrashers for their seventh shutout loss of the season. The two teams also finished their season series with Atlanta winning four of six. Last season, the Capitals swept the season series.

After yet another scoreless first period, a bouncing puck and a bit of bad luck for the Caps led to the Thrashers' first and only goal. Nik Antropov finally broke the stalemate at 11:21 of the second period. Ron Hainsey dumped the puck into the offensive zone, which eluded Mike Knuble. Jeff Schultz also could not corral the loose puck and Freddy Modin poke-checked it away from him. Modin then curled around the right faceoff circle and found Antropov in the slot. Antropov walked in and fired a wicked wrist shot over Semyon Varlamov for his ninth goal of the season.

The Capitals would have a few chances to threaten, especially on a late power play opportunity in the second period. Despite outshooting Atlanta 36-24, the Caps could not get anything past Ondrej Pavelec, who stopped 110 of the last 111 shots he faced against them and finished the season series with two shutout victories.

Washington will not take the ice again until Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens.

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Capitals Vs. Thrashers: Nik Antropov Puts Thrashers Up 1-0 Over Caps After Two Periods

The Capitals are still dealing with some sort of offensive power outage, but in the second period, the Thrashers had a short power surge.

Nik Antropov scored midway through the second period as the Thrashers lead 1-0 after 40 minutes.

Antropov finally broke the stalemate at 11:21 thanks to a big assist from a bouncing puck. Ron Hainsey dumped the puck into the offensive zone, which eluded Mike Knuble. Jeff Schultz also could not corral the loose puck and Freddy Modin poke-checked it away from him. Modin then curled around the right faceoff circle and found Antropov in the slot. Antropov walked in and fired a wicked wrist shot over Semyon Varlamov for his ninth goal of the season.

The Capitals would get a chance to respond shortly after on another power play opportunity. Despite swarming the net and having Pavelec down and out in the crease, the Caps could not slide the puck past him or defenseman Brent Sopel as he assisted in the crease.

Even though they are trailing, the Caps have a 26-18 shot advantage, making their offensive ineptitude more problematic.

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Capitals Vs. Thrashers: Another Scoreless First Period For Caps, Tied 0-0 With Thrashers

The D.C. Metro area is suffering from power outages. In Atlanta, so are the Caps.

The Caps and Thrashers are tied at 0-0 after 20 minutes.

Much like the first period of Monday's game against the New York Rangers, the Caps and Thrashers found themselves in the midst of a defensive stalemate. The two teams combined for 12 shots, with Washington having eight of them. Nicklas Backstrom has a fourth of the Capitals' shots.

Washington had one power play opportunity, but failed to score. The Capitals entered the game 1-for-18 on the PP since January 11.

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Capitals Vs. Thrashers: Starting Lineup

Via Washington Post, below is tonight's starting lineup for the Washington Capitals as they prepare to face off against the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Chimera
Laich-Perreault-Beagle
Hendricks-Johansson-Knuble
Steckel-Gordon-Bradley

Defense
Schultz-Green
Alzner-Carlson
Erskine-Hannan

Goal
Varlamov
Holtby

Scratches: D.J. King, Michal Neuvirth and Tyler Sloan.

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Capitals Vs. Thrashers: Semyon Varlamov To Start, Matt Bradley To Return

As the Capitals prepare for their game Wednesday against the Atlanta Thrashers, some familiar faces will return to the lineup.

Via Washington Post, Semyon Varlamov was the first goaltender off of the ice this morning and is expected to start for the first time since January 14.

Also returning is winger Matt Bradley will return to the lineup after missing five weeks and 14 total games with a broken finger. Bradley broke his finger December 21 against the New Jersey Devils. Since then, the Capitals have fully integrated their new defensive style, which Bradley has been viewing from a distance.

"I just look at maybe the way our team has changed a bit," Bradley said. "We're playing a lot better defensively and I think in the end that's going to help us out. Our style of play right now is pretty good."

On the other side of the ice, Ondrej Pavelec will start for the Thrashers. After fainting in the season opener October 8 against the Caps, Pavelec has started the last two games against Washington and has stopped 74 of 75 shots.

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Capitals Vs. Thrashers: Caps Hope To Take Out Thrash In Last Game Before All-Star Break

On Monday against the New York Rangers, the Washington Capitals played their new defensive game to near perfection. Yet, the bottom fell out midway through the third period and the Caps suffered a 2-1 shootout setback because of it. Luckily, Washington doesn't have much time to think about it as they head to Atlanta for the third and final time this season to take on the Thrashers in both teams' last game before this weekend's All-Star Game.

Wednesday's game will end the regular season series between the Capitals and Thrashers; in five games, the Caps are 2-3-0 against the Thrashers and have been outscored 19-13 after sweeping the season series last season. Washington's eight-game losing skid didn't do much to help matters and Atlanta even found themselves ahead of the Caps in the Southeast Division standings at one point. Atlanta, however, has been going through a losing streak of their own; the Thrashers have lost seven of eight with three of the losses coming in overtime or a shootout.

Washington's injury situation seems to be getting better. Matt Bradley and Alexander Semin both participated in limited practice Tuesday, but head coach Bruce Boudreau said that both players might not return until after Sunday's All-Star Game. Eric Fehr, Tom Poti and Michal Neuvirth are still recovering from injuries and their returns are uncertain.

As the Capitals' injury woes begin to clear up, the Thrashers' are just getting worse. All-Star defenseman Tobias Enstrom will miss both Wednesday's game and the All-Star game with a broken finger. Captain Andrew Ladd is  day-to-day with a lower body injury, while goaltender Chris Mason is on injured reserve with a knee injury.

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