Friday, February 18, 2011

GAME PREVIEW: Kings vs. Capitals

RECORD: Kings- 44-9-3-2 (93pts) Capitals- 21-30-1-7 (50pts)
ROAD vs. HOME: Kings- 19-5-3-1 Capitals- 12-14-1-2
SEASON SERIES: Kings- 4-0-0-1

POWER-PLAY: Kings- 21.32 (9th) Capitals- 15.27 (15th)
Road: Kings- 19.53 (9th) Home: Capitals- 14.07 (15th)
PENALTY-KILL: Kings- 88.12 (1st) Capitals- 73.72 (14th)
Road: Kings- 88.64 (1st) Home: Capitals- 77.85 (11th)
STREAK: Kings- Won 3 Capitals- Lost 1

Season Series: The Kings and Capitals meet for the sixth and final time in the regular season. Powell River won the last meeting on Saturday, earning a 3-1 decision at the Island Savings Centre in Duncan. The Kings have only lost one of the first five meetings, that was a 5-4 double overtime decision to Cowichan.

Team Scope

Kings: Powell River looks to extend their winning streak to four when they make a stop at the "Big Stick." The Kings are 1-1 in Duncan this season, losing 5-4 and winning 3-1. Tonight is the first of two road games with a stop in the Alberni Valley tomorrow to finish their regular season schedule.

The Kings do still have plenty to play for as well. Mike Garteig can set a new single season BCHL shutout record with a bagel tonight or tomorrow. Also he is on pace to set a new goals against average record. Garteig sports a 1.63 GAA with two game remaining. Blake Voth set the mark last season, again with the Vipers at 1.77.As a team the Kings can set a new BCHL goals against record this weekend. The Kings coming into tonight's game have 109 goals against in 58 games. The Vernon Vipers set the record last season at 119.

Also factor in the fact the Kings want to end their regular season on a winning note. The team will be off until March 8th after tomorrow's game against the Bulldogs. The Kings will have 17 full days off between the end of the BCHL regular season and the start of round two in the Fred Page Cup playoffs. That would be a long two and a half weeks if things don't go well this weekend.

Capitals: Simple put, the Caps are playing for their playoff lives right now. Tonight is their final regular season game and it's a must win. Entering tonight's game the Caps are tied with the Express on points with 50 but have one more game played. That's why, even though they have one more win, they sit in the 8th spot entering tonight's action.

You can bet twenty year olds Jordan Grant, Tyler Matheson, Alex Halloran, Matt Cassidy and Matt Ridley  will be leaving everything on the ice tonight. Those players want to keep their final season of junior hockey going, no matter the cost. That mentality can be dangerous for the Kings, as the Caps are a desperate, hungry hockey team and those teams are the hardest to beat.

Even with a loss tonight, the Capitals aren't entirely out of the playoff picture. If the Express drop both games to Surrey and Salmon in regulation, the Capitals would take the final playoff spot on the tie breaker of having more wins. However, Dale Puriton will be stressing to his club not to let it go that far.

Who's Hot: I would be hard press to find someone else playing as well as Chad Niddery. The twenty year old has five goals and eight points in his last two games. Niddery is coming off a two goal, three point performance against the Silverbacks on Wendesday. Niddery's point streak is at a season high nine games and with an assist on Wednesday took over sole possesion of the franchise record for career assists at 145. Niddery past Heath Dennison would held the record with 144 career assists.

Stat Pack: A win tonight gives the Kings the franchise record for wins in a single season with 45. Also the Kings have won nine of their past 10 games.

Injury Report: Teagan Waugh, Dan Schuler, Cohen Adair and Steven Schmidt (suspension) are out for the Kings.

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