Chimera set to make Caps' debut in San Jose
Wednesday, 12.30.2009 / 4:00 PM
Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
CAPITALS (24-9-6) at SHARKS (24-8-7)
: Washington 6-4-0; San Jose 5-2-3.
: This is the last of two meetings between the teams. The Capitals earned a 4-1 victory against the Sharks on Oct. 15 at the Verizon Center. Alex Ovechkin had two goals in a 28-second span during the second period.
: Wednesday night should mark the debut of new Capitals forward Jason Chimera, who was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday in exchange for Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina. Chimera, 30, had 8 goals and 9 assists in 39 games for Columbus this season.
: This is the beginning of an odd two-game trip to the West Coast for Washington, as it will play in San Jose on Wednesday and Los Angeles on Saturday before heading back for a two-game homestand. The Caps completed a three-game set at home on Monday, when they surprisingly dropped a 6-3 decision to the Carolina Hurricanes behind a five-point effort (2 goals, 3 assists) from Eric Staal.
"I think we woke up in the second period, but then they scored the fourth goal and it kind of changed momentum for us," Ovechkin said. "I don't think we stopped playing, but it's hard to come back when you're losing by three goals."
: San Jose played one of the most exciting games of the season on Monday night when it earned a 3-2 shootout win against the Phoenix Coyotes at HP Pavilion. Joe Pavelski
scored a shorthanded goal in the second period and added the lone goal in the shootout for the Sharks, who increased their lead in the Pacific Division.
"You think it's never going to happen on a power play, but sometimes those things happen," Pavelski said. "It's always good to finish your opportunities."
: Caps forward Tomas Fleischmann has seven goals and 12 points in his last 12 games. … After going 10 games without a point, Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi
had two goals and an assist in his last five contests.
: Washington goalie Semyon Varlamov (groin) is hoping to return next week, while defenseman Brian Pothier (rib) is likely out for another 1-2 weeks. Tom Poti is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. … Sharks forward Brad Staubitz (face) likely won't play Wednesday, but he is skating and close to returning, as is left wing Jody Shelley (hand).
: Monday's 6-3 loss to Carolina was Washington's first division loss this season. The Capitals are 8-1-0 against Southeast opponents.
Puck Drop: "Some guys didn't find out until they got to the rink. It's always kind of a strange day, but it doesn't take away from the fact that we knew we would have a team that would come out quick against us. I don't want to use a trade as an excuse, but we sort of came out flat." -- Caps forward Mike Knuble after Monday's loss to Carolina